IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

What Macroeconomists Should Know about Unit Roots: A Bayesian Perspective


  • Uhlig, Harald


This paper summarizes recent Bayesian research on unit roots for the applied macroeconomist in the way Campbell and Perron [8] summarized the classical unit roots perspective. The appropriate choice of a prior is discussed. In recognizing a consensus distaste for explosive roots, I find the popular Normal-Wishart priors centered at the unit root to be reasonable provided they are modified by concentrating the prior mass for the time trend coefficient toward zero as the largest root approaches unit from below. I discuss that the tails of the predictive density can be sensitive to the prior treatment of explosive roots. Because the focus of an investigation often is on a particular persistence property or medium-term forecasting property of the data, I conclude that Bayesian methods often deliver natural answers to macroeconomic questions.

Suggested Citation

  • Uhlig, Harald, 1994. "What Macroeconomists Should Know about Unit Roots: A Bayesian Perspective," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(3-4), pages 645-671, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:etheor:v:10:y:1994:i:3-4:p:645-671_00

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Geweke, John, 1989. "Bayesian Inference in Econometric Models Using Monte Carlo Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1317-1339, November.
    2. Phillips, P C B, 1991. "To Criticize the Critics: An Objective Bayesian Analysis of Stochastic Trends," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 333-364, Oct.-Dec..
    3. Geweke, John, 1988. "Antithetic acceleration of Monte Carlo integration in Bayesian inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 73-89.
    4. Kloek, Tuen & van Dijk, Herman K, 1978. "Bayesian Estimates of Equation System Parameters: An Application of Integration by Monte Carlo," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 1-19, January.
    5. DeJong, David N. & Whiteman, Charles H., 1991. "Reconsidering 'trends and random walks in macroeconomic time series'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 221-254, October.
    6. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1983. "Forecasting and Conditional Projection Using Realistic Prior Distributions," NBER Working Papers 1202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
    8. Schotman, Peter & van Dijk, Herman K., 1991. "A Bayesian analysis of the unit root in real exchange rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 195-238.
    9. Schotman, Peter C & van Dijk, Herman K, 1991. "On Bayesian Routes to Unit Roots," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 387-401, Oct.-Dec..
    10. Geweke, John F, 1986. "The Superneutrality of Money in the United States: An Interpretation of the Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 1-21, January.
    11. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
    12. Sims, Christopher A & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1990. "Inference in Linear Time Series Models with Some Unit Roots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 113-144, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:etheor:v:10:y:1994:i:3-4:p:645-671_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.