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Beware of ‘Good’ Outliers and Overoptimistic Conclusions*

Catherine Dehon (), Marjorie Gassner and Vincenzo Verardi

Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2009, vol. 71, issue 3, 437-452

Abstract: The main goal of this paper is to warn practitioners of the danger of neglecting outliers in regression analysis, in particular, good leverage points (i.e. points lying close to the regression hyperplane but outlying in the x‐dimension). While the types of outliers which do influence regression estimates (vertical outliers and bad leverage points) have been extensively investigated, good leverage points have been largely ignored, probably because they do not affect the estimated regression parameters. However, their effect on inference is far from negligible. We propose a step‐by‐step procedure to identify and treat all types of outliers. The paper of Persson and Tabellini [American Economic Review (2004) Vol. 94, pp. 25–46] linking the degree of proportionality of an electoral system to the size of government is discussed to illustrate how the choice of a measure and the existence of atypical observations may substantially influence results.

Date: 2009
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Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Christopher Adam, Anindya Banerjee, Christopher Bowdler, David Hendry, Adriaan Kalwij, John Knight and Jonathan Temple

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