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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2003

Juan M. Rodríguez-Póo
Universidad de Cantabria
Stefan Sperlich
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Philippe Vieu
Université Paul Sabatier


In this paper we introduce a general method for estimating semiparametrically the different components in separable models. The family of separable models is quite popular in economic research because this structure offers clear interpretation, has straightforward economic consequences, and is often justified by theory. This family is also of statistical interest because it allows us to estimate high-dimensional complexity semiparametrically without running into the curse of dimensionality. We consider even the case when multiple indices appear in the objective function; thus we can estimate models that are typical in economic analysis, such as those that contain limited dependent variables. The idea of the new method is mainly based on a generalized profile likelihood approach. Although this requires some hypotheses on the conditional error distribution, it yields a quite general usable method with low computational costs but high accuracy even for small samples. We give estimation procedures and provide some asymptotic theory. Implementation is discussed; simulations and an application demonstrate its feasibility and good finite-sample behavior.This research was financially supported by Dirección General de Investigación del Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología under research grants BEC2001-1121 and BEC2001-1270; Dirección General de Enseñanza Superior del Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia under Subprograma de estancias de investigadores españoles en centros de investigación españoles y extranjeros, ref. PR2000-0096; and by the Danish Social Science Research fund. We also thank M. Delgado, O. Linton, two anonymous referees, and all participants of the working group STAPH on functional statistics in Toulouse, the activities of which are available on line at

Research Article
© 2003 Cambridge University Press

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