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Principal components and the long run

  • Xiaohong Chen


    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University)

  • Lars Peter Hansen

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Jose A. Scheinkman

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

We investigate a method for extracting nonlinear principal components. These principal components maximize variation subject to smoothness and orthogonality constraints; but we allow for a general class of constraints and densities, including densities without compact support and even densities with algebraic tails. We provide primitive sufficient conditions for the existence of these principal components. We also characterize the limiting behavior of the associated eigenvalues, the objects used to quantify the incremental importance of the principal components. By exploiting the theory of continuous-time, reversible Markov processes, we give a different interpretation of the principal components and the smoothness constraints. When the diffusion matrix is used to enforce smoothness, the principal components maximize long-run variation relative to the overall variation subject to orthogonality constraints. Moreover, the principal components behave as scalar autoregressions with heteroskedastic innovations. Finally, we explore implications for a more general class of stationary, multivariate diffusion processes.

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Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP07/09.

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Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:07/09
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  1. Nour Meddahi, 2001. "An Eigenfunction Approach for Volatility Modeling," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-70, CIRANO.
  2. Serge Darolles & Jean-Pierre Florens & Christian Gourieroux, 2004. "Kernel-based nonlinear canonical analysis and time reversibility," Post-Print halshs-00678062, HAL.
  3. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Nour Meddahi, 2002. "Analytic Evaluation of Volatility Forecasts," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-90, CIRANO.
  4. Florens, Jean-Pierre & Renault, Eric & Touzi, Nizar, 1998. "Testing For Embeddability By Stationary Reversible Continuous-Time Markov Processes," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(06), pages 744-769, December.
  5. Hansen, Lars Peter & Alexandre Scheinkman, Jose & Touzi, Nizar, 1998. "Spectral methods for identifying scalar diffusions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 1-32, June.
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