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Keywords:factor models 

Working Paper
Identification Through Sparsity in Factor Models

Factor models are generally subject to a rotational indeterminacy, meaning that individualfactors are only identified up to a rotation. In the presence of local factors, which only affecta subset of the outcomes, we show that the implied sparsity of the loading matrix can be usedto 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 approximatesparsity in the loading matrix. This enables us to consistently estimate individual factors, andto interpret them as structural ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-25

Working Paper
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 ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-23

Working Paper
Unspanned macroeconomic factors in the yield curve

In this paper, we extract common factors from a cross-section of U.S. macro-variables and Treasury zero-coupon yields. We find that two macroeconomic factors have an important predictive content for government bond yields and excess returns. These factors are not spanned by the cross-section of yields and are well proxied by economic growth and real interest rates.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-57

Discussion Paper
How Easy Is It to Forecast Commodity Prices?

Over the last decade, unprecedented spikes and drops in commodity prices have been a recurrent source of concern to both policymakers and the general public. Given all the recent attention, have economists and analysts made any progress in their ability to predict movements in commodity prices? In this post, we find there is no easy answer. We consider different strategies to forecast near-term commodity price inflation, but find that no particular approach is systematically more accurate and robust. Additionally, the results warn against interpreting current forecasts of commodity prices ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20110627

Report
Deconstructing the yield curve

We investigate the factor structure of the term structure of interest rates and argue that characterizing the minimal dimension of the data generating process is more challenging than currently appreciated. As a result, inference procedures for yield curve models that commit to a parsimoniously parameterized factor structure may be omitting important information about the underlying true factor space. To circumvent these difficulties, we introduce a novel nonparametric bootstrap that is robust to general forms of time and cross-sectional dependence and conditional heteroskedasticity of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 884

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