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

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  • Kilian, Lutz
  • Ohanian, Lee E.

Abstract

There is a widespread tendency in the applied time series literature 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 this implicit assumption is often questionable. There are economically plausible models that are not well captured either under the null hypothesis or under 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. The main contribution of this paper is to provide evidence that this potential pitfall is both economically relevant and quantitatively important. We also explore to what extent applied users may mitigate inferential errors by using finite-sample and bootstrap critical values.
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Suggested Citation

  • Kilian, Lutz & Ohanian, Lee E., 2002. "Unit Roots, Trend Breaks, And Transitory Dynamics: A Macroeconomic Perspective," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(05), pages 614-632, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:05:p:614-632_01
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    Cited by:

    1. Robinson Kruse & Michael Frömmel & Lukas Menkhoff & Philipp Sibbertsen, 2012. "What do we know about real exchange rate nonlinearities?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 457-474, October.
    2. Atiq-ur-Rehman, 2011. "Impact of Model Specification Decisions on Unit Root Tests," International Econometric Review (IER), Econometric Research Association, vol. 3(2), pages 22-33, September.
    3. Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens & Jannsen, Nils & Meier, Carsten-Patrick, 2016. "A Note On Banking And Housing Crises And The Strength Of Recoveries," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(07), pages 1924-1933, October.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Darné, Olivier, 2009. "The uncertain unit root in real GNP: A re-examination," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 153-166, March.
    7. Mohitosh Kejriwal & Claude Lopez, 2013. "Unit Roots, Level Shifts, and Trend Breaks in Per Capita Output: A Robust Evaluation," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(8), pages 892-927, November.
    8. Huang, Yu-Lieh & Huang, Chao-His, 2015. "Uncertain Effects Of Shocks Vs. Uncertain Unit Root: An Alternative View Of U.S. Real Gdp," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 56(1), pages 117-134, June.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. David H Papell & Ruxandra Prodan, 2007. "Restricted Structural Change And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(4), pages 834-853, October.
    12. 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 109-145, January.
    13. Andrea Tafuro, 2015. " The Effects of Fiscal Policy on Employment: an Analysis of the Aggregate Evidence," Working Papers 2015: 03, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    14. repec:hit:hitjcm:v:56:y:2015:i:1:p:117-134 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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