Pitfalls in the Use of Time as an Explanatory Variable in Regression
Regression of a trendless random walk on time produces R-squared values around .44 regardless of sample length. The residuals from the regression exhibit only about 14 percent as much variation as the original series even though the underlying process has no functional dependence on time. The autocorrelation structure of these "detrended" random walks is pseudo-cyclical and purely artifactual. Conventional tests for trend are strongly biased towards finding a trend when none is present, and this effect is only partially mitigated by Cochrane-Orcutt correction for autocorrelation. The results are extended to show that pairs of detrended random walks exhibit spurious correlation.
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Volume (Year): 2 (1984)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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"Spurious Periodicity in Inappropriately Detrended Time Series,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
161, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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- Durbin, J, 1970. "Testing for Serial Correlation in Least-Squares Regression When Some of the Regressors are Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(3), pages 410-21, May.
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- Michael C. Lovell, 1963. "Seasonal Adjustment of Economic Time Series and Multiple Regression," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 151, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Chan, K Hung & Hayya, Jack C & Ord, J Keith, 1977. "A Note on Trend Removal Methods: The Case of Polynomial Regression versus Variate Differencing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 737-44, April.
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