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Identification Through Sparsity in Factor Models
Factor models are generally subject to a rotational indeterminacy, meaning that individual factors are only identified up to a rotation. In the presence of local factors, which only affect a subset of the outcomes, we show that the implied sparsity of the loading matrix can be used to solve this rotational indeterminacy. We further prove that a rotation criterion based on the 1-norm of the loading matrix can be used to achieve identification even under approximate sparsity in the loading matrix. This enables us to consistently estimate individual factors, and to interpret them as structural ...
A Generalized Factor Model with Local Factors
I extend the theory on factor models by incorporating local factors into the model. Local factors only affect an unknown subset of the observed variables. This implies a continuum of eigenvalues of the covariance matrix, as is commonly observed in applications. I derive which factors are pervasive enough to be economically important and which factors are pervasive enough to be estimable using the common principal component estimator. I then introduce a new class of estimators to determine the number of those relevant factors. Unlike existing estimators, my estimators use not only the ...
Factor Models with Local Factors—Determining the Number of Relevant Factors
We extend the theory on factor models by incorporating “local” factors into the model. Local factors affect only an unknown subset of the observed variables. This implies a continuum of eigenvalues of the covariance matrix, as is commonly observed in applications. We de-rive which factors are pervasive enough to be economically important and which factors are pervasive enough to be estimable using the common principal component estimator. We then introduce a new class of estimators to determine the number of those relevant factors. Un-like existing estimators, our estimators use not only ...
Visualization, Identification, and stimation in the Linear Panel Event-Study Design
Linear panel models, and the “event-study plots” that often accompany them, are popular tools for learning about policy effects. We discuss the construction of event-study plots and suggest ways to make them more informative. We examine the economic content of different possible identifying assumptions. We explore the performance of the corresponding estimators in simulations, highlighting that a given estimator can perform well or poorly depending on the economic environment. An accompanying Stata package, xtevent, facilitates adoption of our suggestions.
Pre-event Trends in the Panel Event-study Design
We consider a linear panel event-study design in which unobserved confounds may be related both to the outcome and to the policy variable of interest. We provide sufficient conditions to identify the causal effect of the policy by exploiting covariates related to the policy only through the confounds. Our model implies a set of moment equations that are linear in parameters. The effect of the policy can be estimated by 2SLS, and causal inference is valid even when endogeneity leads to pre-event trends (?pre-trends?) in the outcome. Alternative approaches perform poorly in our simulations