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Discussion Paper

Bimodal t-Ratios

This paper studies the sampling distribution of the conventional t-ratio when the sample cromprises independent draws from a standard Cauchy (0,1) population. It is shown that this distribution displays a striking bimodality for all sample sizes and that the bimodality persists asymptotically. An asymptotic theory is developed in terms of bivariate stable variates and the bimodality is explained by the statistical dependence between the numerator and denominator statistics of the t-ratio. This dependence also persists asymptotically.