Error Term

Definition of 'Error Term'


A variable in a statistical and/or mathematical model, which is created when the model does not fully represent the actual relationship between the independent variable(s) and the dependent variable. As a result of this incomplete relationship, the error term is the amount at which the equation may differ during empirical analysis.

The error term is also known as the "residual", or the "remainder" term.

Investopedia explains 'Error Term'


An error term essentially means that the model will not be completely accurate, and will result in differing results during real world applications. For example, assume there is a multiple linear regression function that takes the form:

Error Term


When the actual Y differs from the Y in the model during an empirical test, then the error term will not be equal to 0, which means there are other factors that influence Y.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Cash and Carry Transaction

    A type of transaction in the futures market in which the cash or spot price of a commodity is below the futures contract price. Cash and carry transactions are considered arbitrage transactions.
  2. Amplitude

    The difference in price from the midpoint of a trough to the midpoint of a peak of a security. Amplitude is positive when calculating a bullish retracement (when calculating from trough to peak) and negative when calculating a bearish retracement (when calculating from peak to trough).
  3. Ascending Triangle

    A bullish chart pattern used in technical analysis that is easily recognizable by the distinct shape created by two trendlines. In an ascending triangle, one trendline is drawn horizontally at a level that has historically prevented the price from heading higher, while the second trendline connects a series of increasing troughs.
  4. National Best Bid and Offer - NBBO

    A term applying to the SEC requirement that brokers must guarantee customers the best available ask price when they buy securities and the best available bid price when they sell securities.
  5. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin account. In the context of the NYSE and FINRA, after an investor has bought securities on margin, the minimum required level of margin is 25% of the total market value of the securities in the margin account.
  6. Leased Bank Guarantee

    A bank guarantee that is leased to a third party for a specific fee. The issuing bank will conduct due diligence on the creditworthiness of the customer looking to secure a bank guarantee, then lease a guarantee to that customer for a set amount of money and over a set period of time, typically less than two years.
Trading Center