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Dynamic factor analysis for short panels: estimating performance trajectories for water utilities

Nikolaos Zirogiannis () and Yorghos Tripodis ()
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Nikolaos Zirogiannis: Indiana University Bloomington
Yorghos Tripodis: Boston University

Statistical Methods & Applications, 2018, vol. 27, issue 1, 131-150

Abstract: Abstract We develop a novel estimation algorithm for a dynamic factor model (DFM) applied to panel data with a short time dimension and a large cross sectional dimension. Current DFMs usually require panels with a minimum of 20 years of quarterly data (80 time observations per panel). In contrast, the application we consider includes panels with a median of 8 annual observations. As a result, the time dimension in our paper is substantially shorter than previous work in the DFM literature. This difference increases the computational challenges of the estimation process which we address by developing the “Two-Cycle Conditional Expectation - Maximization” (2CCEM) algorithm which is a variant of the EM algorithm and its extensions. We analyze the conditions under which our model is identified and provide simulation results demonstrating consistency of our 2CCEM estimator. We apply the DFM to a dataset of 802 water and sanitation utilities from 43 countries and use the 2CCEM algorithm in order to estimate dynamic performance trajectories for each utility.

Keywords: Dynamic factor models; EM algorithm; Panel data; State-space models; Water utilities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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