Journal of Mathematical Sciences

, Volume 139, Issue 3, pp 6497–6505

Student’s t-test for Gaussian scale mixtures

  • N. K. Bakirov
  • G. J. Székely

DOI: 10.1007/s10958-006-0366-5

Cite this article as:
Bakirov, N.K. & Székely, G.J. J Math Sci (2006) 139: 6497. doi:10.1007/s10958-006-0366-5


A Student-type test is constructed under a condition weaker than normal. We assume that the errors are scale mixtures of normal random variables and compute the critical values of the suggested s-test. Our s-test is optimal in the sense that if the level is at most α, then the s-test provides the minimum critical values. (The most important critical values are tabulated at the end of the paper.) For α ≤.05, the two-sided s-test is identical with Student’s classical t-test. In general, the s-test is a t-type test, but its degree of freedom should be reduced depending on α. The s-test is applicable for many heavy-tailed errors, including symmetric stable, Laplace, logistic, or exponential power. Our results explain when and why the P-value corresponding to the t-statistic is robust if the underlying distribution is a scale mixture of normal distributions. Bibliography: 24 titles.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. K. Bakirov
    • 1
  • G. J. Székely
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of MathematicsUfaRussia
  2. 2.Rényi Institute of MathematicsBudapestHungary