IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Bimodal t-Ratios

This paper studies the sampling distribution of the conventional t-ratio when the sample comprises independent draws from a standard Cauchy (0,1) population. It is shown that this distribution displays a striking bimodality for all sample sizes and that the bimodality persists asymptotically. An asymptotic theory is developed in terms of bivariate stable variates and the bimodality is explained by the statistical dependence between the numerator and denominator statistics of the t-ratio. This dependence also persists asymptotically. These results are in contrast to the classical t statistic constructed from a normal population, for which the numerator and denominator statistics are independent and the denominator, when suitably scaled, is a constant asymptotically. Our results are also in contrast to those that are known to apply for multivariate spherical populations. In particular, data from an n dimensional Cauchy population are well known to lead to a t-ratio statistic whose distribution is classical t with n-1 degrees of freedom. In this case the univariate marginals of the population are all standard Cauchy (0,1) but the sample data involves a special form of dependence associated with the multivariate spherical assumption. Our results therefore serve to highlight the effects of the dependence in component variates that is induced by a multivariate spherical population. Some extensions to symmetric stable populations with exponent parameter alpha does not equal 1 are also indicated. Simulation results suggest that the sampling distributions are well approximated by the asymptotic theory even for samples as small as n = 20.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 842.

in new window

Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jul 1987
Publication status: Published in Econometrics Journal (2010), 13(2): 271-289
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:842
Note: CFP 1385.
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Phillips, P.C.B., 1983. "Exact small sample theory in the simultaneous equations model," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 449-516 Elsevier.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:842. 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: (Matthew C. Regan)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.