Cemmap Working Paper (CWP18/18)

Permutation tests for equality of distributions of functional data

Date: 06 March 2018
Publisher: The IFS
JEL classification: C12, C14
DOI: 10.1920/wp.cem.2018.1818

Economic data are often generated by stochastic processes that take place in continuous time, though observations may occur only at discrete times. For example, electricity and gas consumption take place in continuous time. Data generated by a continuous time stochastic process are called functional data. This paper is concerned with comparing two or more stochastic processes that generate functional data. The data may be produced by a randomized experiment in which there are multiple treatments. The paper presents a test of the hypothesis that the same stochastic process generates all the functional data. In contrast to existing methods, the test described here applies to both functional data and multiple treatments. The test is presented as a permutation test, which ensures that in a finite sample, the true and nominal probabilities of rejecting a correct null hypothesis are equal. The paper also presents the asymptotic distribution of the test statistic under alternative hypotheses. The results of Monte Carlo experiments and an application to an experiment on billing and pricing of natural gas illustrate the usefulness of the test.