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A nonparametric test for equality of distributions with mixed categorical and continuous data

  • Li, Qi
  • Maasoumi, Esfandiar
  • Racine, Jeffrey S.

In this paper we consider the problem of testing for equality of two density or two conditional density functions defined over mixed discrete and continuous variables. We smooth both the discrete and continuous variables, with the smoothing parameters chosen via least-squares cross-validation. The test statistics are shown to have (asymptotic) normal null distributions. However, we advocate the use of bootstrap methods in order to better approximate their null distribution in finite-sample settings and we provide asymptotic validity of the proposed bootstrap method. Simulations show that the proposed tests have better power than both conventional frequency-based tests and smoothing tests based on ad hoc smoothing parameter selection, while a demonstrative empirical application to the joint distribution of earnings and educational attainment underscores the utility of the proposed approach in mixed data settings.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 148 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 186-200

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:148:y:2009:i:2:p:186-200
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Fan, Yanqin, 1998. "Goodness-Of-Fit Tests Based On Kernel Density Estimators With Fixed Smoothing Parameters," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(05), pages 604-621, October.
  2. Li, Qi & Racine, Jeff, 2003. "Nonparametric estimation of distributions with categorical and continuous data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 266-292, August.
  3. Ahmad, Ibrahim A. & Li, Qi, 1997. "Testing independence by nonparametric kernel method," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 201-210, June.
  4. Peter Hall & Jeff Racine & Qi Li, 2004. "Cross-Validation and the Estimation of Conditional Probability Densities," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 99, pages 1015-1026, December.
  5. Grund, B. & Hall, P., 1993. "On the Performance of Kernel Estimators for High-Dimensional, Sparse Binary Data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 321-344, February.
  6. Gordon Anderson, 2001. "The Power And Size Of Nonparametric Tests For Common Distributional Characteristics," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 1-30.
  7. Robinson, P M, 1991. "Consistent Nonparametric Entropy-Based Testing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 437-53, May.
  8. Fan, Yanqin & Li, Qi, 2000. "Consistent Model Specification Tests," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(06), pages 1016-1041, December.
  9. Hall, Peter, 1984. "Central limit theorem for integrated square error of multivariate nonparametric density estimators," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-16, February.
  10. Peter Hall & Qi Li & Jeffrey S. Racine, 2007. "Nonparametric Estimation of Regression Functions in the Presence of Irrelevant Regressors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 784-789, November.
  11. Yongmiao Hong & Halbert White, 2005. "Asymptotic Distribution Theory for Nonparametric Entropy Measures of Serial Dependence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(3), pages 837-901, 05.
  12. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 2001. "Bootstrap Tests: How Many Bootstraps?," Working Papers 1036, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  13. Racine, Jeffrey S. & Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 2007. "A versatile and robust metric entropy test of time-reversibility, and other hypotheses," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(2), pages 547-567, June.
  14. Kiefer, Nicholas M. & Racine, Jeffrey S., 2008. "The Smooth Colonel Meets the Reverend," Working Papers 08-01, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  15. Anderson, N. H. & Hall, P. & Titterington, D. M., 1994. "Two-Sample Test Statistics for Measuring Discrepancies Between Two Multivariate Probability Density Functions Using Kernel-Based Density Estimates," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 41-54, July.
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