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Evaluating Latent and Observed Factors in Macroeconomics and Financ

Author

Listed:
  • Jushan Bai

    (NYU)

  • Serena Ng

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

Common factors play an important role in many disciplines of social science. In economics, the factors are the common shocks that underlie the co-movements of the large number of economic time series. The question of interest is whether some observable economic variables are in fact the underlying unobserved factors. We consider statistics to determine if the observed and the latent factors are exactly the same. We also provide simple to construct statistics that indicate the extent to which the two sets of factors differ. The key to the analysis is that the space spanned by the latent factors can be consistently estimated when the sample size is large in both the cross-section and the time series dimensions. The tests are used to assess how well the so-called Fama and French factors as well as several business cycle indicators approximate the factors in portfolio and individual stock returns. Data from a large panel of macroeconomic are also analyzed.

Suggested Citation

  • Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2004. "Evaluating Latent and Observed Factors in Macroeconomics and Financ," Econometrics 0408007, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpem:0408007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
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    5. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2004. "Confidence Intervals for Diffusion Index Forecasts with a Large Number of Predictor," Econometrics 0408006, EconWPA.
    6. Chen, Nai-Fu & Roll, Richard & Ross, Stephen A, 1986. "Economic Forces and the Stock Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 383-403, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    diffusion indices; generated regresors; large dimensional panel;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables
    • C4 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics
    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs

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