Robustness of Stein-type estimators under a non-scalar error covariance structure

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2376-2388
Journal / PublicationJournal of Multivariate Analysis
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


The Stein-rule (SR) and positive-part Stein-rule (PSR) estimators are two popular shrinkage techniques used in linear regression, yet very little is known about the robustness of these estimators to the disturbances' deviation from the white noise assumption. Recent studies have shown that the OLS estimator is quite robust, but whether this is so for the SR and PSR estimators is less clear as these estimators also depend on the F statistic which is highly susceptible to covariance misspecification. This study attempts to evaluate the effects of misspecifying the disturbances as white noise on the SR and PSR estimators by a sensitivity analysis. Sensitivity statistics of the SR and PSR estimators are derived and their properties are analyzed. We find that the sensitivity statistics of these estimators exhibit very similar properties and both estimators are extremely robust to MA(1) disturbances and reasonably robust to AR(1) disturbances except for the cases of severe autocorrelation. The results are useful in light of the rising interest of the SR and PSR techniques in the applied literature. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.