Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spherically Distributed Errors in Regression Models

Let's think about the standard linear regression model that we encounter in our introductory econometrics courses:
                                       y = Xβ + ε .                      (1)
By writing the model in this form, we've already made two assumptions about the stochastic relationship between the dependent variable, y, and the regressors (the columns of the X matrix). First, the relationship is a parametric one - hence the presence of the coefficient vector, β; and second, the relationship is a linear one. That's to say, the model is linear in these parameters. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be able to write the model in the form given in equation (1).
However, the model isn't fully specified until we lay out any assumptions that are being made about the regressors and the random error term, ε. Now, let's consider the full set of (rather stringent) assumptions that we usually begin with: