Heteroscedasticity in Regression (2020)

Heteroscedasticity in Regression

Heteroscedasticity in Regression: The term heteroscedasticity refers to the violation of the assumption of homoscedasticity in linear regression models (LRM). In the case of heteroscedasticity, the errors have unequal variances for different levels of the regressors, which leads to biased and inefficient estimators of the regression coefficients. The disturbances in the Classical Linear Regression Model (CLRM) appearing in the population regression function should be homoscedastic; that is they all have the same variance.

Mathematical Proof of $E(\hat{\sigma}^2)\ne \sigma^2$ when there is some presence of hetero in the data.

For the proof of $E(\hat{\sigma}^2)\ne \sigma^2$, consider the two-variable linear regression model in the presence of heteroscedasticity,

Y_i=\beta_1 + \beta_2 X+ u_i, \quad\quad (eq1)

where $Var(u_i)=\sigma_i^2$ (Case of heteroscedasticity)


\hat{\sigma^2} &= \frac{\sum \hat{u}_i^2 }{n-2}\\
&= \frac{\sum (Y_i – \hat{Y}_i)^2 }{n-2}\\
&=\frac{(\beta_1 + \beta_2 X_i + u_i – \hat{\beta}_1 -\hat{\beta}_2 X_i )^2}{n-2}\\
&=\frac{\sum \left( -(\hat{\beta}_1-\beta_1) – (\hat{\beta}_2 – \beta_2)X_i + u_i \right)^2 }{n-2}\quad\quad (eq2)

Noting that

\beta_1 + \beta_2 X + u_i\, – \,\hat{\beta}_1 – \hat{\beta}_2X &=0\\
-(\hat{\beta}_1 -\beta_1) – X(\hat{\beta}_2-\beta_2) – u_i & =0\\
(\hat{\beta}_1 -\beta_1) &= – X (\hat{\beta}_2-\beta_2) + u_i\\
\text{Applying summation on both side}&\\
\sum (\hat{\beta}_1-\beta_1) &= -(\hat{\beta}_2-\beta_2)\sum X + \sum u_i\\
(\hat{\beta}_1 – \beta_1) &= -(\hat{\beta}_2-\beta_2)\overline{X}+\overline{u}

Substituting it in (eq2) and taking expectation on both sides:

\hat{\sigma}^2 &= \frac{1}{n-2} \left[ -(-(\hat{\beta}_2 – \beta_2) \overline{X} + \overline{u} ) – (\hat{\beta}_2-\beta_2)X_i + u_i  \right]^2\\
&=\frac{1}{n-2}E\left[(\hat{\beta}_2-\beta_2)\overline{X} -\overline{u} – (\hat{\beta}_2-\beta_2)X_i-u_i \right]^2\\
&=\frac{1}{n-2} E\left[ -(\hat{\beta}_2 – \beta_2)(X_i-\overline{X}) + (u_i-\overline{u})\right]^2\\
&= \frac{1}{n-2}\left[-\sum x_i^2 Var(\hat{\beta}_2) + E[\sum(u_i-\overline{u}]^2 \right]\\
&=\frac{1}{n-2} \left[ -\frac{\sum x_i^2 \sigma_i^2}{(\sum x_i^2)} + \frac{(n-1)\sum \sigma_i^2}{n} \right]

If there is homoscedasticity, then $\sigma_i^2=\sigma^2$ for each $i$, $E(\hat{\sigma}_i^2)=\sigma^2$.

The expected value of the $\hat{\sigma}^2=\frac{\hat{u}_i^2}{n-2}$ will not be equal to the true $\sigma^2$ in the presence of heteroscedasticity.

Heteroscedasticity in regression

To address heteroscedasticity in regression analysis, several techniques can be used to stabilize the variance of the errors:

  1. Transformations: Transforming the variables (such as using logarithmic or square root transformations) can sometimes help stabilize the variance of the errors.
  2. Weighted Least Squares (WLS): WLS is a method that assigns different weights to observations based on their variances, thereby giving more weight to observations with smaller variances. This may also help to mitigate the impact of heteroscedasticity on the estimation of parameters.
  3. Robust Standard Errors: heteroscedasticity-consistent standard errors also known as Robust standard errors, provide a way to correct standard errors and hypothesis tests in the presence of heteroscedasticity without requiring assumptions about the specific form of heteroscedasticity.
  4. Generalized Least Squares (GLS): The GLS method allows to estimation of regression coefficients under a broader range of assumptions about the variance-covariance structure of the errors, including heteroscedasticity.

Overall, detecting and addressing heteroscedasticity is important for ensuring the validity and reliability of regression analysis results.

Read more on the Remedy of Heteroscedasticity

More on heteroscedasticity on Wikipedia

MCQs General Knowledge

R Programming Language

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