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The perils of aggregating foreign variables in panel data models

  • Ca' Zorzi, Michele
  • Chudik, Alexander
  • Dieppe, Alistair

The curse of dimensionality refers to the difficulty of including all relevant variables in empirical applications due to the lack of sufficient degrees of freedom. A common solution to alleviate the problem in the context of open economy models is to aggregate foreign variables by constructing trade-weighted cross-sectional averages. This paper provides two key contributions in the context of static panel data models. The first is to show under what conditions the aggregation of foreign variables (AFV) leads to consistent estimates (as the time dimension T is fixed and the cross section dimension N -> infinite). The second is to design a formal test to assess the admissibility of the AFV restriction and to evaluate the small sample properties of the test by undertaking Monte Carlo experiments. Finally, we illustrate an application in the context of the current account empirical literature where the AFV restriction is rejected. JEL Classification: C12, C31, C33, F41

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1444.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20121444
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  1. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Lucrezia Reichlin & Marco Lippi, 2000. "The generalised dynamic factor model: identification and estimation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10143, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Pesaran, Hashem & Chudik, Alexander, 2010. "Econometric analysis of high dimensional VARs featuring a dominant unit," Working Paper Series 1194, European Central Bank.
  3. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Priors from general equilibrium models for VARs," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2002-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. Chudik, Alexander & Pesaran, Hashem & Tosetti, Elisa, 2009. "Weak and strong cross section dependence and estimation of large panels," Working Paper Series 1100, European Central Bank.
  5. Chudik , A. & Pesaran, M.H., 2007. "Infinite Dimensional VARs and Factor Models," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0757, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Bussière, Matthieu & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2006. "Current Account Dynamics in OECD Countries and in the New EU Member States: An Intertemporal Approach," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 21, pages 593-618.
  7. Bussière, Matthieu & Ca' Zorzi, Michele & Chudik, Alexander & Dieppe, Alistair, 2010. "Methodological advances in the assessment of equilibrium exchange rates," Working Paper Series 1151, European Central Bank.
  8. Chinn, Menzie D. & Prasad, Eswar S., 2003. "Medium-term determinants of current accounts in industrial and developing countries: an empirical exploration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 47-76, January.
  9. Jesmin Rahman, 2008. "Current Account Developments in New Member States of the European Union: Equilibrium, Excess, and EU-Phoria," IMF Working Papers 08/92, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2004. "The generalised dynamic factor model: consistency and rates," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10133, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  11. Chudik, Alexander & Dieppe, Alistair & Ca' Zorzi, Michele, 2012. "Thousands of models, one story: current account imbalances in the global economy," Working Paper Series 1441, European Central Bank.
  12. Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992. "Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  13. Forni, Mario & Lippi, Marco, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Representation Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 2509, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Ca' Zorzi, Michele & Chudik, Alexander & Dieppe, Alistair, 2009. "Current account benchmarks for central and eastern Europe: a desperate search?," Working Paper Series 0995, European Central Bank.
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