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Interpolation and shock persistence of prewar U.S. macroeconomic time series: A reconsideration

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  • Dezhbakhsh, Hashem
  • Levy, Daniel

Abstract

The U.S. prewar output series exhibit smaller shock-persistence than postwar-series. Some studies suggest this may be due to linear interpolation used to generate missing prewar data. Monte Carlo simulations that support this view generate large standard-errors, making such inference imprecise. We assess analytically the effect of linear interpolation on a nonstationary process. We find that interpolation indeed reduces shock-persistence, but the interpolated series can still exhibit greater shock-persistence than a pure random walk. Moreover, linear interpolation makes the series periodically nonstationary, with parameters of the data generating process and the length of the interpolation time-segments affecting shock-persistence in conflicting ways.

Suggested Citation

  • Dezhbakhsh, Hashem & Levy, Daniel, 2022. "Interpolation and shock persistence of prewar U.S. macroeconomic time series: A reconsideration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 213(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:213:y:2022:i:c:s0165176522000623
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2022.110386
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Linear interpolation; Random walk; Shock-persistence; Nonstationary series; Periodic nonstationarity; Stationary series; Prewar US time series;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C01 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Econometrics
    • C02 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Mathematical Economics
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative

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