nep-ets New Economics Papers
on Econometric Time Series
Issue of 2009‒05‒09
one paper chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo

  1. Principal Components and Long Run Implications of Multivariate Diffusions By Xiaohong Chen; Lars Peter Hansen; Jose Scheinkman

  1. By: Xiaohong Chen (Cowles Foundation, Yale University); Lars Peter Hansen (Dept. of Economics, University of Chicago); Jose Scheinkman (Dept. of Economics, Princeton University)
    Abstract: 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 multivariate 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 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; this supports semiparametric identification of a multivariate reversible diffusion process and tests of the overidentifying restrictions implied by such a process from low frequency data. We also explore implications for stationary, possibly non-reversible diffusion processes.
    Keywords: Nonlinear principal components, Discrete spectrum, Eigenvalue decay rates, Multivariate diffusion, Quadratic form, Conditional expectations operator
    JEL: C12 C22
    Date: 2009–04

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