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Robust measures of skewness and kurtosis for macroeconomic and financial time series

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  • Andrea Bastianin

Abstract

The sample skewness and kurtosis of macroeconomic and financial time series are routinely scrutinized in the early stages of model-building and are often the central topic of studies in economics and finance. Notwithstanding the availability of several robust estimators, most scholars in economics rely on method-of-moments estimation that is known to be very sensitive to outliers. We carry out an extensive Monte Carlo analysis to compare the bias and root mean squared error of twelve different estimators of skewness and kurtosis. We consider nine statistical distributions that approximate the range of data generating processes of many macroeconomic and financial time series. Both in independently and identically distributed samples and in data generating processes featuring serial correlation L-moments and trimmed L-moments estimators are particularly resistant to outliers and deliver the lowest root mean squared error. The application to 128 macroeconomic and financial time series sourced from a large, monthly frequency, database (i.e. the FRED-MD of McCracken and Ng, 2016) confirms the findings of the simulation study.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Bastianin, 2019. "Robust measures of skewness and kurtosis for macroeconomic and financial time series," Working Papers 408, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 06 May 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:408
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    2. Bastianin, Andrea & Manera, Matteo, 2021. "A test of symmetry based on L-moments with an application to the business cycles of the G7 economies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    FRED-MD; kurtosis; L-moments; outlier; robust statistics; skewness.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C46 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Specific Distributions
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C55 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Large Data Sets: Modeling and Analysis
    • C58 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Financial Econometrics

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