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Regression density estimation using smooth adaptive Gaussian mixtures

  • Villani, Mattias
  • Kohn, Robert
  • Giordani, Paolo

We model a regression density flexibly so that at each value of the covariates the density is a mixture of normals with the means, variances and mixture probabilities of the components changing smoothly as a function of the covariates. The model extends the existing models in two important ways. First, the components are allowed to be heteroscedastic regressions as the standard model with homoscedastic regressions can give a poor fit to heteroscedastic data, especially when the number of covariates is large. Furthermore, we typically need fewer components, which makes it easier to interpret the model and speeds up the computation. The second main extension is to introduce a novel variable selection prior into all the components of the model. The variable selection prior acts as a self-adjusting mechanism that prevents overfitting and makes it feasible to fit flexible high-dimensional surfaces. We use Bayesian inference and Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods to estimate the model. Simulated and real examples are used to show that the full generality of our model is required to fit a large class of densities, but also that special cases of the general model are interesting models for economic data.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 153 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 155-173

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:153:y:2009:i:2:p:155-173
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Villani, Mattias & Kohn, Robert & Giordani, Paolo, 2007. "Nonparametric Regression Density Estimation Using Smoothly Varying Normal Mixtures," Working Paper Series 211, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  2. Smith, Michael & Kohn, Robert, 1996. "Nonparametric regression using Bayesian variable selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 317-343, December.
  3. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521780506 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Geweke, John, 2007. "Interpretation and inference in mixture models: Simple MCMC works," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 3529-3550, April.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521785167 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. David B. Dunson & Natesh Pillai & Ju-Hyun Park, 2007. "Bayesian density regression," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 69(2), pages 163-183.
  7. Geweke, John & Keane, Michael, 2007. "Smoothly mixing regressions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 252-290, May.
  8. George Kapetanios, 2007. "Measuring Conditional Persistence in Nonlinear Time Series," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(3), pages 363-386, 06.
  9. David J. Nott & Robert Kohn, 2005. "Adaptive sampling for Bayesian variable selection," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 92(4), pages 747-763, December.
  10. De Iorio, Maria & Muller, Peter & Rosner, Gary L. & MacEachern, Steven N., 2004. "An ANOVA Model for Dependent Random Measures," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 99, pages 205-215, January.
  11. Sally A. Wood, 2002. "Bayesian mixture of splines for spatially adaptive nonparametric regression," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 89(3), pages 513-528, August.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2003. "Inflation and monetary policy in the twentieth century," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 22-45.
  13. Sassan Alizadeh & Michael W. Brandt & Francis X. Diebold, 2002. "Range-Based Estimation of Stochastic Volatility Models," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1047-1091, 06.
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