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Fat-tails in VAR Models

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  • Ching-Wai (Jeremy) Chiu

    (Bank of England)

  • Haroon Mumtaz

    ()
    (Queen Mary University of London)

  • Gabor Pinter

    (Bank of England)

Abstract

We confirm that standard time-series models for US output growth, inflation, interest rates and stock market returns feature non-Gaussian error structure. We build a 4-variable VAR model where the orthogonolised shocks have a Student t-distribution with a time-varying variance. We find that in terms of in-sample fit, the VAR model that features both stochastic volatility and Student-t disturbances outperforms restricted alternatives that feature either attributes. The VAR model with Student-t disturbances results in density forecasts for industrial production and stock returns that are superior to alternatives that assume Gaussianity. This difference appears to be especially stark over the recent financial crisis.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 714.

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Date of creation: Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp714

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Keywords: Bayesian VAR; Fat tails; Stochastic volatility;

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  1. Jacquier, Eric & Polson, Nicholas G & Rossi, Peter E, 1994. "Bayesian Analysis of Stochastic Volatility Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 371-89, October.
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  6. Domenico Giannone & Martha Banbura & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Bayesian VARs with large panels," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13388, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2006. "Estimating Macroeconomic Models: A Likelihood Approach," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000849, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Jacquier, Eric & Polson, Nicholas G. & Rossi, P.E.Peter E., 2004. "Bayesian analysis of stochastic volatility models with fat-tails and correlated errors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 185-212, September.
  9. Marta Bańbura, 2008. "Large Bayesian VARs," 2008 Meeting Papers 334, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Zheng Liu & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2011. "Sources of macroeconomic fluctuations: A regime‐switching DSGE approach," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(2), pages 251-301, 07.
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  12. Jacquier, Eric & Polson, Nicholas G & Rossi, Peter E, 1994. "Bayesian Analysis of Stochastic Volatility Models: Comments: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 413-17, October.
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