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Bayesian evidence on the structure of unemployment


  • Summers, Peter M.


This paper presents a Bayesian assessment of the likelihood of unit roots in the unemployment rates of 16 OECD countries. Bayesian techniques for detecting multiple structural breaks in time series have recently been developed by Wang and Zivot (2000). I apply these tests to a data set recently analyzed by Papell et al (2000). I also treat the number of structural breaks as an additional parameter to be estimated. I fin virtually no support for unit root hysteresis in OECD unemployment rates; this result is very robust to the choice of prior.
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Suggested Citation

  • Summers, Peter M., 2004. "Bayesian evidence on the structure of unemployment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 299-306, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:83:y:2004:i:3:p:299-306

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Han C. & Carlin B. P., 2001. "Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods for Computing Bayes Factors: A Comparative Review," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 1122-1132, September.
    2. Wang, Jiahui & Zivot, Eric, 2000. "A Bayesian Time Series Model of Multiple Structural Changes in Level, Trend, and Variance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(3), pages 374-386, July.
    3. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
    4. Lubrano, Michel, 1995. "Testing for unit roots in a Bayesian framework," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 81-109, September.
    5. John Geweke, 1999. "Using simulation methods for bayesian econometric models: inference, development,and communication," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-73.
    6. Berger, James O. & Yang, Ruo-Yong, 1994. "Noninformative Priors and Bayesian Testing for the AR(1) Model," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(3-4), pages 461-482, August.
    7. Sims, Christopher A & Uhlig, Harald, 1991. "Understanding Unit Rooters: A Helicopter Tour," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1591-1599, November.
    8. repec:cup:etheor:v:10:y:1994:i:3-4:p:645-71 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Perron, Pierre & Vogelsang, Timothy J, 1992. "Nonstationarity and Level Shifts with an Application to Purchasing Power Parity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 301-320, July.
    10. Bauwens, Luc & Lubrano, Michel & Richard, Jean-Francois, 2000. "Bayesian Inference in Dynamic Econometric Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773139, June.
    11. David H. Papell & Christian J. Murray & Hala Ghiblawi, 2000. "The Structure of Unemployment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 309-315, May.
    12. John Geweke, 1999. "Using Simulation Methods for Bayesian Econometric Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 832, Society for Computational Economics.
    13. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vosseler, Alexander, 2016. "Bayesian model selection for unit root testing with multiple structural breaks," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 616-630.
    2. Yi-Chi Chen & Eric Zivot, 2010. "Postwar slowdowns and long-run growth: a Bayesian analysis of structural break models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 897-921, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity


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