Concept

Freedman's paradox

Summary
In statistical analysis, Freedman's paradox, named after David Freedman, is a problem in model selection whereby predictor variables with no relationship to the dependent variable can pass tests of significance – both individually via a t-test, and jointly via an F-test for the significance of the regression. Freedman demonstrated (through simulation and asymptotic calculation) that this is a common occurrence when the number of variables is similar to the number of data points. Specifically, if the dependent variable and k regressors are independent normal variables, and there are n observations, then as k and n jointly go to infinity in the ratio k/n=ρ,

the R2 goes to ρ,

the F-statistic for the overall regression goes to 1.0, and

the number of spuriously significant regressors goes to αk where α is the chosen critical probability (probability of Type I error for a regressor). This third result is intuitive because it says that the number of Type I errors equals the probabil

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