On Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Dynamic Panel Data Models

Maurice J. G. Bun*, Martin A. Carree, Arturas Juodis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)


We analyse the finite sample properties of maximum likelihood estimators for dynamic panel data models. In particular, we consider transformed maximum likelihood (tml) and random effects maximum likelihood (rml) estimation. We show that tml and rml estimators are solutions to a cubic first-order condition in the autoregressive parameter. Furthermore, in finite samples both likelihood estimators might lead to a negative estimate of the variance of the individual-specific effects. We consider different approaches taking into account the non-negativity restriction for the variance. We show that these approaches may lead to a solution different from the unique global unconstrained maximum. In an extensive monte carlo study we find that this issue is non-negligible for small values of t and that different approaches might lead to different finite sample properties. Furthermore, we find that the likelihood ratio statistic provides size control in small samples, albeit with low power due to the flatness of the log-likelihood function. We illustrate these issues modelling us state level unemployment dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-494
JournalOxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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