Institute for Economic and Social Research

Optimal Model Averaging of Mixed-Data Kernel-Weighted Spline Regressions


Journal of Business and Economic Statistics

 Jeffrey S. Racine, Qi Li, Dalei Yu & Li Zheng


Model averaging has a rich history dating from its use for combining forecasts from time-series models (Bates and Granger) and presents a compelling alternative to model selection methods. We propose a frequentist model averaging procedure defined over categorical regression splines (Ma, Racine, and Yang) that allows for mixed-data predictors, as well as nonnested and heteroscedastic candidate models. We demonstrate the asymptotic optimality of the proposed model averaging estimator, and develop a post-averaging inference theory for it. Theoretical underpinnings are provided, finite-sample performance is evaluated, and an empirical illustration reveals that the method is capable of outperforming a range of popular model selection criteria in applied settings. An R package is available for practitioners (Racine).

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