The importance of common cyclical features in VAR analysis: a Monte-Carlo study
Despite the commonly held belief that aggregate data display short-run comovement, there has been little discussion about the econometric consequences of this feature of the data. We use exhaustive Monte-Carlo simulations to investigate the importance of restrictions implied by common-cyclical features for estimates and forecasts based on vector autoregressive models. First, we show that the ìbestî empirical model developed without common cycle restrictions need not nest the ìbestî model developed with those restrictions. This is due to possible differences in the lag-lengths chosen by model selection criteria for the two alternative models. Second, we show that the costs of ignoring common cyclical features in vector autoregressive modelling can be high, both in terms of forecast accuracy and efficient estimation of variance decomposition coefficients. Third, we find that the Hannan-Quinn criterion performs best among model selection criteria in simultaneously selecting the lag-length and rank of vector autoregressions.
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