For linear regression models with non normally distributed errors, the least squares estimate (LSE) will lose some efficiency compared to the maximum likelihood estimate (MLE). In this article, we propose a kernel density-based regression estimate (KDRE) that is adaptive to the unknown error distribution. The key idea is to approximate the likelihood function by using a nonparametric kernel density estimate of the error density based on some initial parameter estimate. The proposed estimate is shown to be asymptotically as efficient as the oracle MLE which assumes the error density were known. In addition, we propose an EM type algorithm to maximize the estimated likelihood function and show that the KDRE can be considered as an iterated weighted least squares estimate, which provides us some insights on the adaptiveness of KDRE to the unknown error distribution. Our Monte Carlo simulation studies show that, while comparable to the traditional LSE for normal errors, the proposed estimation procedure can have substantial efficiency gain for non normal errors. Moreover, the efficiency gain can be achieved even for a small sample size.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistics and Probability