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Unit Roots, Trend Breaks, And Transitory Dynamics: A Macroeconomic Perspective

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  • Kilian, Lutz
  • Ohanian, Lee E.

Abstract

It is common to interpret rejections of the unit-root null hypothesis in favor of a trend stationary process with possible trend breaks as evidence that the data are better characterized as stationary about a broken trend. This interpretation is valid only if the model postulated under the alternative hypothesis is the only plausible alternative to the model postulated under the null. We argue that there are economically plausible models that are not well captured under either the null hypothesis or the alternative hypothesis of these tests. We show that applied researchers who ignore this possibility are likely to reject the unit-root null with high probability in favor of a trend stationary process with possible breaks. Our evidence shows that this potential pitfall is both economically relevant and quantitatively important. We explore the extent to which applied users may mitigate inferential errors by using finite-sample and bootstrap critical values.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2002)
Issue (Month): 05 (November)
Pages: 614-632

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Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:05:p:614-632_01

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Cited by:
  1. Mohitosh Kejriwal & Claude Lopez, 2010. "Unit Roots, Level Shifts and Trend Breaks in PerCapita Output: A Robust Evaluation," University of Cincinnati, Economics Working Papers Series 2010-02, University of Cincinnati, Department of Economics.
  2. Atiq-ur-Rehman, Atiq-ur-Rehman & Zaman, Asad, 2009. "Impact of Model Specification Decisions on Unit Root Tests," MPRA Paper 19963, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Paraskevi Salamaliki & Ioannis Venetis & Nicholas Giannakopoulos, 2013. "The causal relationship between female labor supply and fertility in the USA: updated evidence via a time series multi-horizon approach," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 109-145, January.
  4. Darne, Olivier & Diebolt, Claude, 2004. "Unit roots and infrequent large shocks: new international evidence on output," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1449-1465, October.
  5. Aksoy Yunus & Leon-Ledesma Miguel A., 2008. "Non-Linearities and Unit Roots in G7 Macroeconomic Variables," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-44, February.
  6. R. Kruse & M. Frömmel & L. Menkhoff & P. Sibbertsen, 2010. "What do we know about real exchange rate nonlinearities?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 10/667, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  7. Darné, Olivier, 2009. "The uncertain unit root in real GNP: A re-examination," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 153-166, March.
  8. Salamaliki, Paraskevi K. & Venetis, Ioannis A., 2013. "Energy consumption and real GDP in G-7: Multi-horizon causality testing in the presence of capital stock," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 108-121.
  9. Atiq-ur-Rehman, Atiq-ur-Rehman & Zaman, Asad, 2008. "Model specification, observational equivalence and performance of unit root tests," MPRA Paper 13489, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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