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Vector Autoregressions

  • James H. Stock
  • Mark W. Watson

This paper critically reviews the use of vector autoregressions (VARs) for four tasks: data description, forecasting, structural inference, and policy analysis. The paper begins with a review of VAR analysis, highlighting the differences between reduced-form VARs, recursive VARs and structural VARs. A three variable VAR that includes the unemployment rate, price inflation and the short term interest rate is used to show how VAR methods are used for the four tasks. The paper concludes that VARs have proven to be powerful and reliable tools for data description and forecasting, but have been less useful for structural inference and policy analysis.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.15.4.101
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 101-115

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:15:y:2001:i:4:p:101-115
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.4.101
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/
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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1996. "Sticky price and limited participation models of money: a comparison," Staff Report 227, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  4. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, September.
  5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  6. Ben S. Bernanke, 1986. "Alternative Explanations of the Money-Income Correlation," NBER Working Papers 1842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  8. Christopher A. Sims, 1982. "Policy Analysis with Econometric Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(1), pages 107-164.
  9. Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Are forecasting models usable for policy analysis?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-16.
  10. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Cochrane, John H., 1998. "What do the VARs mean? Measuring the output effects of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 277-300, April.
  12. Jon Faust & Eric M. Leeper, 1994. "When do long-run identifying restrictions give reliable results?," International Finance Discussion Papers 462, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 907-31, November.
  14. Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 1999. "Conditional Forecasts In Dynamic Multivariate Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 639-651, November.
  15. Christopher A. Sims, 1993. "A Nine-Variable Probabilistic Macroeconomic Forecasting Model," NBER Chapters, in: Business Cycles, Indicators and Forecasting, pages 179-212 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1997. "Monetary policy shocks: what have we learned and to what end?," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  17. Peter F. Christoffersen & Francis X. Diebold, 1997. "Cointegration and Long-Horizon Forecasting," NBER Technical Working Papers 0217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Sims, Christopher A, 1998. "Comment on Glenn Rudebusch's "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?"," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 933-41, November.
  19. Wright, Jonathan H, 2000. "Confidence Intervals for Univariate Impulse Responses with a Near Unit Root," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(3), pages 368-73, July.
  20. Pagan, A.R. & Robertson, J.C., 1995. "Structural Models of the Liquidity Effect," Papers 283, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  21. Olivier J. Blanchard & Mark W. Watson, 1984. "Are Business Cycles All Alike?," NBER Working Papers 1392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 1999. "What are the Effects of Monetary Policy on Output? Results from an Agnostic Identification Procedure," Discussion Paper 1999-28, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  23. Litterman, Robert B, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian Vector Autoregressions-Five Years of Experience," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, January.
  24. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 2002. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1329-1368.
  25. McNees, Stephen K., 1990. "The role of judgment in macroeconomic forecasting accuracy," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 287-299, October.
  26. Lutz Kilian, 1999. "Finite-Sample Properties of Percentile and Percentile-t Bootstrap Confidence Intervals for Impulse Responses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 652-660, November.
  27. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  28. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
  29. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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