IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Thirty Years of Heteroskedasticity-Robust Inference


  • James G. MacKinnon

    () (Queen's University)


White (1980) marked the beginning of a new era for inference in econometrics. It introduced the revolutionary idea of inference that is robust to heteroskedasticity of unknown form, an idea that was very soon extended to other forms of robust inference and also led to many new estimation methods. This paper discusses the development of heteroskedasticity-robust inference since 1980. There have been two principal lines of investigation. One approach has been to modify White's original estimator to improve its finite-sample properties, and the other has been to use bootstrap methods. The relation between these two approaches, and some ways in which they may be combined, are discussed. Finally, a simulation experiment compares various methods and shows how far heteroskedasticity-robust inference has come in just over thirty years.

Suggested Citation

  • James G. MacKinnon, 2012. "Thirty Years of Heteroskedasticity-Robust Inference," Working Papers 1268, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1268

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Second version 2012
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    2. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    3. Cribari-Neto, Francisco, 2004. "Asymptotic inference under heteroskedasticity of unknown form," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 215-233, March.
    4. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1994. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 631-653.
    5. Chesher, Andrew & Austin, Gerard, 1991. "The finite-sample distributions of heteroskedasticity robust Wald statistics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 153-173, January.
    6. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-858, May.
    7. Jeff Racine & James G. MacKinnon, 2004. "Simulation-based Tests that Can Use Any Number of Simulations," Working Papers 1027, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    8. James G. MacKinnon, 2002. "Bootstrap inference in econometrics," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 615-645, November.
    9. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 2014. "Confidence sets based on inverting Anderson–Rubin tests," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 17(2), pages 39-58, June.
    10. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
    11. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1999. "The Size Distortion Of Bootstrap Tests," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(03), pages 361-376, June.
    12. Flachaire, Emmanuel, 1999. "A better way to bootstrap pairs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 257-262, September.
    13. Tsung-Wu Ho, 2001. "Finite-sample properties of the bootstrap estimator in a Markov-switching model," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(7), pages 835-842.
    14. Francisco Cribari-Neto & Maria Lima, 2010. "Sequences of bias-adjusted covariance matrix estimators under heteroskedasticity of unknown form," Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Springer;The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, vol. 62(6), pages 1053-1082, December.
    15. White, Halbert & Domowitz, Ian, 1984. "Nonlinear Regression with Dependent Observations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 143-161, January.
    16. Flachaire, Emmanuel, 2005. "Bootstrapping heteroskedastic regression models: wild bootstrap vs. pairs bootstrap," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 361-376, April.
    17. Andrews, Donald W K & Monahan, J Christopher, 1992. "An Improved Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 953-966, July.
    18. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
    19. Froot, Kenneth A., 1989. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation with Cross-Sectional Dependence and Heteroskedasticity in Financial Data," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(03), pages 333-355, September.
    20. Paparoditis, Efstathios & Politis, Dimitris N., 2005. "Bootstrap hypothesis testing in regression models," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(4), pages 356-365, October.
    21. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    22. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 2006. "The power of bootstrap and asymptotic tests," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(2), pages 421-441, August.
    23. Chesher, Andrew & Jewitt, Ian, 1987. "The Bias of a Heteroskedasticity Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1217-1222, September.
    24. Horowitz, Joel L., 2001. "The bootstrap and hypothesis tests in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 37-40, January.
    25. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    26. MacKinnon, James G. & White, Halbert, 1985. "Some heteroskedasticity-consistent covariance matrix estimators with improved finite sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 305-325, September.
    27. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 2010. "Wild Bootstrap Tests for IV Regression," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(1), pages 128-144.
    28. Horowitz, Joel L., 2001. "The Bootstrap," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 52, pages 3159-3228 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Romano, Joseph P. & Wolf, Michael, 2017. "Resurrecting weighted least squares," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 197(1), pages 1-19.
    2. Startz, Richard, 2012. "Bayesian Heteroskedasticity-Robust Standard Errors," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt69c4x8m9, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.

    More about this item


    wild bootstrap; HCCME; power; finite-sample;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1268. 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: (Mark Babcock). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.