# DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS. Unit ECON Introduction to Econometrics. Notes 4 2. R and F tests

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1 DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS Unit ECON 11 Introduction to Econometrics Notes 4 R and F tests These notes provide a summary of the lectures. They are not a complete account of the unit material. You should also consult the reading as given in the unit outline and the lectures. R 1. Once a regression has been estimated, it is important to evaluate the results. The best known way of doing this is by using a statistic called R. In the simple regression model or E(Yi Xi ) = α + βx i i=1...n Y i = α + βx i + u i where E(ui Xi ) = 0, we estimate α and β by OLS. We can then write Y i = αˆ + βˆ X i + e i (1) Where αˆ and βˆ are the OLS estimators of α and β respectively and e i are the OLS residuals. Since α ˆ= Y βx we can write (1) as ( Yi Y) = β ˆ (X X) i + e i () Both sides of () can be squared and summed to give i Y) Σ ( Y = β ˆ Σ(X X) + i Σ e i (3) The cross product term β ˆΣ(X X)e 0. i i = 1

2 Equation (3) is an important relationship. Each term is referred to as a kind of sum of squares. Σ( Y βˆ Σ(X Σe i i Y) i X) Total sum of squares (TSS) Explained sum of Squares (ESS) Residual sum of squares (RSS) Thus (3) says TSS = ESS + RSS R is defined in the following way R = ESS TSS Because of (3) 0 R 1 R is often regarded as the proportion of the variance of the dependent variable which is explained by the regression line. As such a higher value of R is regarded as better than a lower value. Unfortunately adding spurious explanatory variables to the regression will always raise coefficients. Thus a high value of R when the OLS technique is used to estimate the R is not always a good sign. In practice it is often easy to find comparatively high values of R in regressions using time series samples and in this context R is not very informative. Lower values of R generally occur in regressions using large cross-section samples and in this context R is more useful. Although see remarks on the F test below.. F tests Whenever we wish to test a null hypothesis which contains restrictions on more than one coefficient or consists of more than one linear restriction, a convenient test statistic has the F distribution if the null hypothesis is true. Suppose the model is Y i = α 0 + α 1 X 1i + X i examples of such null hypotheses would be (i) α 1 = 0, α = 0 or (ii) α + α + α = α + α 3 X 3i + ui i = 1,,..,n (4)

4 R indicates that by the standard of time series regressions, the regression line explains a comparatively small proportion of the variation in log output. This is not surprising given the fact the neither slope coefficient is estimated very precisely (both estimated slopes have comparatively large standard errors). s is an estimate of the standard error of the residuals. It is sometimes called the standard error of the regression. It is calculated in the following way; s = (n e t k) = e t 1 In models where all the variables are measured in logs (as here), s has the interpretation that it is a measure of the size of the average residual as a percentage of the dependent variable. If this regression was used to predict the value of log output over the sample period then the prediction would (on average) be wrong by 7.81 per cent. RSS is the residual sum of squares. It will have a straightforward relationship with s above. You should check that it does so. F is the F statistic see section 4 below. Now the reason why we were interested in estimating this Cobb-Douglas production function was to test the hypothesis of constant returns to scale. The model is y = A + α1 k + α l + u Where y = log(y), A = log( α 0 ), k = log(k), l = log(l) and the random disturbance, u with E(u k,l) = 0 and the hypothesis of constant returns to scale is α 1 + α = 1. This is the sort of hypothesis which the F test is designed for. To calculate the appropriate F statistic we need RSS U and RSS R. We already have the RSS U from equation (6) above (0.183). We need RSS R. In practice this can often be computed by whatever computer programme we are using. (See Exercise 7). In this example it turns out that RSS R is Note that RSS R is larger than RSS U. If it was not, there would be something wrong with the calculations. We can now compute the F statistic using equation (5) above. F = ( ) / / 1 = This F statistic has 1 and 1 degrees of freedom. The critical value of F(1,1) at 95 % is 4.3. Thus we cannot reject the null hypothesis that α + α 1. As we have seen in 1 = 4

5 Notes, the 95 % confidence interval for α 1 included one, so it is not perhaps a surprise that we cannot reject the null of constant returns to scale. 4. Tests of Significance. Often when a regression model is estimated, the investigator examines each of the estimated coefficients to see if they are significant. This means testing the null hypothesis that the coefficient is zero. The test statistic is βˆ 0 s.e.(ˆ) β = βˆ s.e.(ˆ) β which has a t distribution of (n-k) degrees of freedom. This is often called the t ratio and is sometimes given in regression results in brackets under the estimated coefficients instead of the standard error. It is important to realize that it can be misleading to focus exclusively on the t ratio. A t ratio may be less than its critical value (and thus the null is not rejected) because the standard error is large even though the point estimate of β (βˆ ) is also comparatively large. On another occasion the point estimate may be comparatively small (0.00 say) but because the standard error is even smaller, the estimated coefficient may be significant (i.e. the null that the coefficient is zero is rejected). If, in the context of the model 0.00 is a very small effect, the fact that this particular coefficient is significant may not be very interesting. It is important to remember the that a confidence interval may give more information about the range of possible values of the coefficient than a test of significance. Just as there is the t ratio which tests the significance of one coefficient in a regression, so there is the F test which tests the significance of all the slope coefficients in the regression. Returning to the example given above, suppose the model is Y i = α 0 + α 1 X 1i + X i We can test the joint null that H : α =, α = 0, α 0 against = i H : any α 0 for i = 1,,3 α + α 3 X 3i + ui i = 1,,..,n (7) The test statistic uses the formula (5) above. In this case the RSS U is the RSS from the OLS estimate of the equation (6). The restricted equation takes the form Y i = α 0 + ui i = 1,,..,n 5

6 and the RSS from this equation is the TSS from (6). This gives the F statistic a particular form which is related to the R from the unrestricted equation. the F statistic = (TSS RSSU ) /(k RSS (n k) U 1) = (1 R R /(k 1) ) /(n k) Often the F statistic is given as a diagnostic statistic with the regression results. For an example of this see the estimates of the production function, equation (6) above. There the F statistic is given as This has a distribution of and 1 degrees of freedom. The critical value at 95 % is Thus we do not reject the hypothesis that both α 1 and α are zero. Again this is not very surprising since the 95% confidence intervals for both these coefficients included zero (see Notes ). The link between R and the F statistic provides a further interpretation to R. If is comparatively high, it is more likely that the null that all the slope coefficients in the regression are zero will be rejected. If it is comparatively low, then it is more likely that this null will not to be rejected. Notice that the F statistic (like all F statistics) depends on the number of observations (n) and the number of coefficients in the model (k). R does not depend on n or k and thus can be artificially boosted as described in section 1 above. The reservations concerning the use of the t ratio given above also apply to the F statistic. R 5. Chow Tests A special and useful application of the F test procedure is to test in time series models for a structural break. A structural break is when the coefficients of the model change. Thus suppose we have the following model Y i = α 0 + α 1 X 1i + X i α + u i i =1,,..,T (8) It is believed that the coefficients may have changed at some point in the sample, say after period s. If this were true we would have Y i = β 0 + β 1 X 1i + X i β + u i i =1,,..,s and (9) Y i = 0γ + γ 1 X 1i + X i γ + u i i =s+1,..,t (10) Note that the null hypothesis is H 0 : no structural break after observation s. H : structural break after observation s 1 6

7 Thus the restricted model is model (8) and the OLS estimates of that model provide RSS R. The unrestricted model is equations (9) and (10). The RSS U is the sum of the RSS for equation (9) and for equation (10). We then apply the formula for the F test as given in (5). In this case it becomes (RSSR RSS U RSSU ) / k (T k) which is distributed as F with k and (T-k) degrees of freedom. Or in the example above F with and (T-4) degrees of freedom. Note that this test requires that the point s is so placed in the sample that there are enough observations both before and after s for the model to be estimated in each part. If this is not true another form of the test is available (see the textbooks). The test assumes that the variance of the disturbances is the same in both parts of the sample. It is worthwhile checking that the estimates of the variance of the disturbances from each part of the sample are not different by an order of magnitude. If the estimated variances are different by that kind of margin, the Chow test will probably not be valid. 6. Examples of F tests The following estimates were made with a sample of quarterly observations on UK data The dependent variables is the log of consumers expenditure on consumption goods at 1985 prices. y is the log of disposable income at 1985 prices. (I) (ii) (iii) (iv) Constant (0.176) (0.181) (0.514) (0.337) Yd t (0.143) (0.017) (0.1) (0.186) Yd t (0.151) (0.13) (0.18) Yd t (0.144) (0.10) (0.18) R s RSS n Standard errors given in brackets. 7

8 The model being estimated here can be written c t = a 0 + a 1 y t + y t 1 a + a 3 y t + u t t=1,,,t where c t is the log of consumers expenditure at constant prices, y t is the log of disposable income at constant prices. We will use the F test to test two different hypotheses. (i) H 0 : a = 0, a 3= 0 H 1: either a 0 or a 3 0 Using the estimates given above RSS U = and RSS R = Thus, F = ( ) / /107 = 4.3 This has an F distribution of and 107 degrees of freedom. The 95% critical value is 3.09 (approximately). Thus we reject the null hypothesis. (ii) Using the estimates given above we can also test for structural change after the 50 th observation, that is after H 0 : no structural break after observation H : structural break after observation For this test Thus, RSS U = = and RSS R = F = ( ) / /103 = 3.91 David Winter March 000 This has an F distribution of 4 and 103 degrees of freedom. The 95% critical value is.46 (approximately). Thus we reject the null hypothesis that this form of the consumption function did not have a structural break after It is also important to check that the variance of the disturbances did not change at the break point. The estimate of the variance for the first part of the sample is /46 = In the second half of the sample it is 0.051/57 = Although these estimates are not identical, they do not indicate that the variance has substantially changed. 8

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