# Time series and cross-sectional data...for the former...for the latter

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#### NewAmerica

##### Banned
Do "the former" refer to "time series" and "the latter" refer to "cross-sectional data"?

What is bewildering is that if so "one panel member or individual" would be of "time series"... A bit puzzling here...

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In statistics and econometrics, panel data or longitudinal data are multi-dimensional data involving measurements over time. Panel data contain observations of multiple phenomena obtained over multiple time periods for the same firms or individuals.

Time series and cross-sectional data can be thought of as special cases of panel data that are in one dimension only (one panel member or individual for the former, one time point for the latter).

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• #### JulianStuart

##### Senior Member
It breaks down to two separate sentences:

Time series data can be thought of as a special case of panel data that are in one dimension only (one panel member or individual)

Cross-sectional data can be thought of as special case of panel data that are in one dimension only (one time point)

#### NewAmerica

##### Banned
Thank you.

It appears that panel data are practically two-dimensional data: one dimension is time, while the other is measurements (it may include more than one dimension). Thus we have "the former" and "the latter." (I think I'd better make the meaning of "panel" another thread though it is closely involving with this one)

#### Uncle Jack

##### Senior Member
I think the one-dimensional is confusing. Surely a dimension is also needed for the measurement, and the writer describes panel data as multi-dimensional, not two-dimensional.

Panel data is multiple phenomena measured over time. (A multi-line graph might work well for this)
Time series data is one phenomenon measured over time. (A line graph would work well for this)
Cross-sectional data is multiple phenomena measured at one point in time. (A bar chart might work well for this, or a table of values if the units are all different or values vary widely).

#### NewAmerica

##### Banned
Thank you.

The problem is that the definition for "panel" here is unclear to me. I've made it another thread.

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