Unified Factor Model Estimation and Inference under Short and Long Memory
This paper studies a linear panel data model with interactive fixed effects wherein regressors, factors and idiosyncratic error terms are all stationary but with potential long memory. The setup involves a new factor model formulation for which weakly dependent regressors, factors and innovations are embedded as a special case. Standard methods based on principal component decomposition and least squares estimation, as in Bai (2009), are found to suffer bias correction failure because the order of magnitude of the bias is determined in a complex manner by the memory parameters. To cope with this failure and to provide a simple implementable estimation procedure, frequency domain least squares estimation is proposed. The limit distribution of this frequency domain approach is established and a hybrid selection method is developed to determine the number of factors. Simulations show that the frequency domain estimator is robust to short memory and outperforms the time domain estimator when long range dependence is present. An empirical illustration of the approach is provided, examining the long-run relationship between stock return and realized volatility.