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Efficient Estimation of Approximate Factor Models

  • Bai, Jushan
  • Liao, Yuan

We study the estimation of a high dimensional approximate factor model in the presence of both cross sectional dependence and heteroskedasticity. The classical method of principal components analysis (PCA) does not efficiently estimate the factor loadings or common factors because it essentially treats the idiosyncratic error to be homoskedastic and cross sectionally uncorrelated. For the efficient estimation, it is essential to estimate a large error covariance matrix. We assume the model to be conditionally sparse, and propose two approaches to estimating the common factors and factor loadings; both are based on maximizing a Gaussian quasi-likelihood and involve regularizing a large covariance sparse matrix. In the first approach the factor loadings and the error covariance are estimated separately while in the second approach they are estimated jointly. Extensive asymptotic analysis has been carried out. In particular, we develop the inferential theory for the two-step estimation. Because the proposed approaches take into account the large error covariance matrix, they produce more efficient estimators than the classical PCA methods or methods based on a strict factor model.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 41558.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41558
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  1. Jianqing Fan & Yuan Liao & Martina Mincheva, 2013. "Large covariance estimation by thresholding principal orthogonal complements," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 75(4), pages 603-680, 09.
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  5. Alexei Onatski, 2005. "Determining the number of factors from empirical distribution of eigenvalues," Discussion Papers 0405-19, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  6. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
  7. Johnstone, Iain M. & Lu, Arthur Yu, 2009. "On Consistency and Sparsity for Principal Components Analysis in High Dimensions," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 104(486), pages 682-693.
  8. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
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  11. Alessi, Lucia & Barigozzi, Matteo & Capasso, Marco, 2010. "Improved penalization for determining the number of factors in approximate factor models," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(23-24), pages 1806-1813, December.
  12. Jacob Bien & Robert J. Tibshirani, 2011. "Sparse estimation of a covariance matrix," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 98(4), pages 807-820.
  13. Fan, Jianqing & Fan, Yingying & Lv, Jinchi, 2008. "High dimensional covariance matrix estimation using a factor model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 186-197, November.
  14. Choi, In, 2012. "Efficient Estimation Of Factor Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 274-308, April.
  15. Breitung, Jörg & Tenhofen, Jörn, 2011. "GLS Estimation of Dynamic Factor Models," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 106(495), pages 1150-1166.
  16. Kapetanios, George, 2010. "A Testing Procedure for Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models With Large Datasets," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(3), pages 397-409.
  17. Rothman, Adam J. & Levina, Elizaveta & Zhu, Ji, 2009. "Generalized Thresholding of Large Covariance Matrices," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 104(485), pages 177-186.
  18. Cai, Tony & Liu, Weidong, 2011. "Adaptive Thresholding for Sparse Covariance Matrix Estimation," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 106(494), pages 672-684.
  19. Fan J. & Li R., 2001. "Variable Selection via Nonconcave Penalized Likelihood and its Oracle Properties," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 1348-1360, December.
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