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

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Qi & Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Racine, Jeffrey S., 2009. "A nonparametric test for equality of distributions with mixed categorical and continuous data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 186-200, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:148:y:2009:i:2:p:186-200
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. P. M. Robinson, 1991. "Consistent Nonparametric Entropy-Based Testing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 437-453.
    3. 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.
    4. Russell Davidson & James MacKinnon, 2000. "Bootstrap tests: how many bootstraps?," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 55-68.
    5. Nicholas Kiefer & Jeffrey Racine, 2009. "The smooth Colonel meets the Reverend," Journal of Nonparametric Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 521-533.
    6. 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.
    7. Yongmiao Hong & Halbert White, 2005. "Asymptotic Distribution Theory for Nonparametric Entropy Measures of Serial Dependence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(3), pages 837-901, May.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Ahmad, Ibrahim A. & Li, Qi, 1997. "Testing independence by nonparametric kernel method," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 201-210, June.
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    15. 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.
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