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Econometric Analysis of Large Factor Models


  • Jushan Bai

    () (Department of Economics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027
    School of Finance, Nankai University, Tianjin, China 300350)

  • Peng Wang

    () (Department of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong)


Large factor models use a few latent factors to characterize the co-movement of economic variables in a high-dimensional data set. High dimensionality brings challenges as well as new insights into the advancement of econometric theory. Because of their ability to effectively summarize information in large data sets, factor models have been increasingly used in economics and finance. The factors, estimated from the high-dimensional data, can, for example, help improve forecasting, provide efficient instruments, control for nonlinear unobserved heterogeneity, and capture cross-sectional dependence. This article reviews the theory on estimation and statistical inference of large factor models. It also discusses important applications and highlights future directions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jushan Bai & Peng Wang, 2016. "Econometric Analysis of Large Factor Models," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 53-80, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reveco:v:8:y:2016:p:53-80

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    Cited by:

    1. Milda Norkuté & Vasilis Sarafidis & Takashi Yamagata, 2018. "Instrumental Variable Estimation of Dynamic Linear Panel Data Models with Defactored Regressors and a Multifactor Error Structure," ISER Discussion Paper 1019, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    2. Ruiz Ortega, Esther & Poncela, Pilar & Corona, Francisco, 2017. "Estimating non-stationary common factors : Implications for risk sharing," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS 24585, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de EstadĂ­stica.
    3. Mingli Chen & Ivan Fernandez-Val & Martin Weidner, 2018. "Nonlinear factor models for network and panel data," CeMMAP working papers CWP38/18, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    More about this item


    high-dimensional data; factor-augmented regression; FAVAR; number of factors; interactive effects; principal components; regularization; Bayesian estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • C01 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Econometrics
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C38 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Classification Methdos; Cluster Analysis; Principal Components; Factor Analysis
    • C55 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Large Data Sets: Modeling and Analysis


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