Fitting Dynamic Factor Models to Nonstationary Time Series

M. Eichler*, G. Motta, R. von Sachs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Factor modelling of a large time series panel has widely proven useful to reduce its cross-sectional dimensionality. This is done by explaining common co-movements in the panel through the existence of a small number of common components, up to some idiosyncratic behaviour of each individual series. To capture serial correlation in the common components, a dynamic structure is used as in traditional (uni- or multivariate) time series analysis of second order structure, i.e. Allowing for infinite-length filtering of the factors via dynamic loadings. In this paper, motivated from economic data observed over long time periods which show smooth transitions over time in their covariance structure, we allow the dynamic structure of the factor model to be non-stationary over time by proposing a deterministic time variation of its loadings. In this respect we generalize the existing recent work on static factor models with time-varying loadings as well as the classical, i.e. Stationary, dynamic approximate factor model. Motivated from the stationary case, we estimate the common components of our dynamic factor model by the eigenvectors of a consistent estimator of the now time-varying spectral density matrix of the underlying data-generating process. This can be seen as a time-varying principal components approach in the frequency domain. We derive consistency of this estimator in a “double-asymptotic” framework of both cross-section and time dimension tending to infinity. The performance of the estimators is illustrated by a simulation study and an application to a macroeconomic data set.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-70
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Econometrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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