Bayesian hypothesis testing in latent variable models
Hypothesis testing using Bayes factors (BFs) is known not to be well defined under the improper prior. In the context of latent variable models, an additional problem with BFs is that they are difficult to compute. In this paper, a new Bayesian method, based on the decision theory and the EM algorithm, is introduced to test a point hypothesis in latent variable models. The new statistic is a by-product of the Bayesian MCMC output and, hence, easy to compute. It is shown that the new statistic is appropriately defined under improper priors because the method employs a continuous loss function. In addition, it is easy to interpret. The method is illustrated using a one-factor asset pricing model and a stochastic volatility model with jumps.
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