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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
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  1. Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 1998. "Conditional forecasts in dynamic multivariate models," Working Paper 98-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke, 1986. "Alternative Explanations of the Money-Income Correlation," NBER Working Papers 1842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Monetary Policy Shocks: What Have We Learned and to What End?," NBER Working Papers 6400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. A. R. Pagan & J. C. Robertson, 1998. "Structural Models Of The Liquidity Effect," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 202-217, May.
  5. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Rudebusch, G.D., 1996. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," Papers 269, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  7. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. McNees, Stephen K., 1990. "The role of judgment in macroeconomic forecasting accuracy," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 287-299, October.
  9. Olivier J. Blanchard & Mark W. Watson, 1986. "Are Business Cycles All Alike?," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 123-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Christopher A. Sims, 1989. "A nine variable probabilistic macroeconomic forecasting model," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 14, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "What are the Effects of Monetary Policy on Output? Results from an Agnostic Identification Procedure," CEPR Discussion Papers 2137, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Olivier Blanchard & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," NBER Working Papers 7269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  16. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring monetary policy," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  17. 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.
  18. Jon Faust & Eric M. Leeper, 1994. "When do long-run identifying restrictions give reliable results?," Working Paper 94-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  19. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  20. Francis X. Diebold & Peter F. Christoffersen, 1997. "Cointegration and Long-Horizon Forecasting," IMF Working Papers 97/61, International Monetary Fund.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Are forecasting models usable for policy analysis?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-16.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
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