IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

On Sample Skewness and Kurtosis


  • Yong Bao


It is well documented in the literature that the sample skewness and excess kurtosis can be severely biased in finite samples. In this paper, we derive analytical results for their finite-sample biases up to the second order. In general, the bias results depend on the cumulants (up to the sixth order) as well as the dependency structure of the data. Using an AR(1) process for illustration, we show that a feasible bias-correction procedure based on our analytical results works remarkably well for reducing the bias of the sample skewness. Bias-correction works reasonably well also for the sample kurtosis under some moderate degree of dependency. In terms of hypothesis testing, bias-correction offers power improvement when testing for normality, and bias-correction under the null provides also size improvement. However, for testing nonzero skewness and/or excess kurtosis, there exist nonnegligible size distortions in finite samples and bias-correction may not help.

Suggested Citation

  • Yong Bao, 2013. "On Sample Skewness and Kurtosis," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 415-448, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:emetrv:v:32:y:2013:i:4:p:415-448
    DOI: 10.1080/07474938.2012.690665

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mutschler, Willi, 2015. "Note on Higher-Order Statistics for the Pruned-State-Space of nonlinear DSGE models," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113138, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Mutschler, Willi, 2015. "Identification of DSGE models—The effect of higher-order approximation and pruning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 34-54.
    3. Willi Mutschler, 2015. "Higher-order statistics for DSGE models," CQE Working Papers 4315, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:emetrv:v:32:y:2013:i:4:p:415-448. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.