Oracle Efficient Variable Selection in Random and Fixed Effects Panel Data Models

This paper generalizes the results for the Bridge estimator of Huang et al. (2008) to linear random and fixed effects panel data models which are allowed to grow in both dimensions. In particular we show that the Bridge estimator is oracle efficient. It can correctly distinguish between relevant … and irrelevant variables and the asymptotic distribution of the estimators of the coefficients of the relevant variables is the same as if only these had been included in the model, i.e. as if an oracle had revealed the true model prior to estimation. In the case of more explanatory variables than observations, we prove that the Marginal Bridge estimator can asymptotically correctly distinguish between relevant and irrelevant explanatory variables. We do this without restricting the dependence between covariates and without assuming sub Gaussianity of the error terms thereby generalizing the results of Huang et al. (2008). Furthermore, the number of relevant variables is allowed to be larger than the sample size.