On Modeling Panels of Time Series
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This paper reviews research issues in modeling panels of time series. Examples of this type of data are annually observed macroeconomic indicators for all countries in the world, daily returns on the individual stocks listed in the S&P500, and the sales records of all items in a retail store. A panel of time series concerns the case where the cross-sectional dimension and the time dimension are large. Often, there is no a priori reason to select a few series or to aggregate the series over the cross-sectional dimension. The use of, for example, a vector autoregression or other types of multivariate models then becomes cumbersome. Panel models and associated estimation techniques are more useful. Due to the large time dimension, one should however incorporate the time-series features. And, the models should not have too many parameters to facilitate interpretation. This paper discusses representation, estimation and inference of relevant models and discusses recently proposed modeling approaches that explicitly aim to meet these requirements. The paper concludes with some reflections on the usefulness of large data sets. These concern sample selection issues and the notion that more detail also requires more complex models.