Calculating degrees of freedom in multivariate local polynomial regression

Nadine McCloud, Christopher F. Parmeter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The matrix that transforms the response variable in a regression to its predicted value is commonly referred to as the hat matrix. The trace of the hat matrix is a standard metric for calculating degrees of freedom. The two prominent theoretical frameworks for studying hat matrices to calculate degrees of freedom in local polynomial regressions – ANOVA and non-ANOVA – abstract from both mixed data and the potential presence of irrelevant covariates, both of which dominate empirical applications. In the multivariate local polynomial setup with a mix of continuous and discrete covariates, which include some irrelevant covariates, we formulate asymptotic expressions for the trace of both the non-ANOVA and ANOVA-based hat matrices from the estimator of the unknown conditional mean. The asymptotic expression of the trace of the non-ANOVA hat matrix associated with the conditional mean estimator is equal up to a linear combination of kernel-dependent constants to that of the ANOVA-based hat matrix. Additionally, we document that the trace of the ANOVA-based hat matrix converges to 0 in any setting where the bandwidths diverge. This attrition outcome can occur in the presence of irrelevant continuous covariates or it can arise when the underlying data generating process is in fact of polynomial order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-160
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Statistical Planning and Inference
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Bandwidth
  • Effective parameters
  • Goodness-of-fit
  • Irrelevant regressors
  • Trace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics


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