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On Fractile Transformation of Covariates in Regression


  • Bodhisattva Sen
  • Probal Chaudhuri


The need for comparing two regression functions arises frequently in statistical applications. Comparison of the usual regression functions is not very meaningful in situations where the distributions and the ranges of the covariates are different for the populations. For instance, in econometric studies, the prices of commodities and people's incomes observed at different time points may not be on comparable scales due to inflation and other economic factors. In this article, we describe a method of standardizing the covariates and estimating the transformed regression function, which then become comparable. We develop smooth estimates of the fractile regression function and study its statistical properties analytically as well as numerically. We also provide a few real examples that illustrate the difficulty in comparing the usual regression functions and motivate the need for the fractile transformation. Our analysis of the real examples leads to new and useful statistical conclusions that are missed by comparison of the usual regression functions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bodhisattva Sen & Probal Chaudhuri, 2012. "On Fractile Transformation of Covariates in Regression," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 107(497), pages 349-361, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jnlasa:v:107:y:2012:i:497:p:349-361
    DOI: 10.1080/01621459.2011.646916

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    Cited by:

    1. Patra, Rohit K. & Sen, Bodhisattva & Székely, Gábor J., 2016. "On a nonparametric notion of residual and its applications," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 208-213.

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