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A new approach to Bayesian hypothesis testing


  • Li, Yong
  • Zeng, Tao
  • Yu, Jun


In this paper a new Bayesian approach is proposed to test a point null hypothesis based on the deviance in a decision-theoretical framework. The proposed test statistic may be regarded as the Bayesian version of the likelihood ratio test and appeals in practical applications with three desirable properties. First, it is immune to Jeffreys’ concern about the use of improper priors. Second, it avoids Jeffreys–Lindley’s paradox, Third, it is easy to compute and its threshold value is easily derived, facilitating the implementation in practice. The method is illustrated using some real examples in economics and finance. It is found that the leverage effect is insignificant in an exchange time series and that the Fama–French three-factor model is rejected.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Yong & Zeng, Tao & Yu, Jun, 2014. "A new approach to Bayesian hypothesis testing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P3), pages 602-612.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:178:y:2014:i:p3:p:602-612
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2013.08.035

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Yu, Jun, 2012. "A semiparametric stochastic volatility model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 167(2), pages 473-482.
    7. José M. Bernardo & Raúl Rueda, 2002. "Bayesian Hypothesis Testing: a Reference Approach," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 70(3), pages 351-372, December.
    8. John Geweke, 2007. "Bayesian Model Comparison and Validation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 60-64, May.
    9. Li, Yong & Yu, Jun, 2012. "Bayesian hypothesis testing in latent variable models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(2), pages 237-246.
    10. Dale J. Poirier, 1995. "Intermediate Statistics and Econometrics: A Comparative Approach," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161494, September.
    11. David J. Spiegelhalter & Nicola G. Best & Bradley P. Carlin & Angelika Van Der Linde, 2002. "Bayesian measures of model complexity and fit," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 64(4), pages 583-639, October.
    12. Jae-Young Kim, 1998. "Large Sample Properties of Posterior Densities, Bayesian Information Criterion and the Likelihood Principle in Nonstationary Time Series Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 359-380, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Li, Gang & Li, Yong, 2015. "Forecasting copper futures volatility under model uncertainty," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(P2), pages 167-176.
    2. Yong Li & Xiaobin Liu & Jun Yu & Tao Zeng, 2018. "A New Wald Test for Hypothesis Testing Based on MCMC outputs," Papers 1801.00973,
    3. Li, Yong & Liu, Xiaobin & Zeng, Tao & Yu, Jun, 2018. "A Posterior-Based Wald-Type Statistic for Hypothesis Testing," Economics and Statistics Working Papers 8-2018, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
    4. Li, Yong & Liu, Xiao-Bin & Yu, Jun, 2015. "A Bayesian chi-squared test for hypothesis testing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 189(1), pages 54-69.
    5. Xiao-Bin Liu & Yong Li, 2013. "Bayesian testing volatility persistence in stochastic volatility models with jumps," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(8), pages 1415-1426, December.
    6. Zhao, Yan-Yong & Lin, Jin-Guan & Xu, Pei-Rong & Ye, Xu-Guo, 2015. "Orthogonality-projection-based estimation for semi-varying coefficient models with heteroscedastic errors," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 204-221.
    7. Yong Li & Jun Yu, 2019. "An Improved Bayesian Unit Root Test in Stochastic Volatility Models," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 20(1), pages 103-122, May.
    8. Zhang, Yonghui & Chen, Zhongtian & Li, Yong, 2017. "Bayesian testing for short term interest rate models," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 146-152.
    9. Leung, Melvern & Li, Youwei & Pantelous, Athanasios & Vigne, Samuel, 2019. "Bayesian Value-at-Risk Backtesting: The Case of Annuity Pricing," MPRA Paper 101698, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Chen, Shyh-Wei & Hsu, Chi-Sheng & Xie, Zixong, 2016. "Are there periodically collapsing bubbles in the stock markets? New international evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 442-451.
    11. Jin-Yu Zhang & Zhong-Tian Chen & Yong Li, 2019. "Bayesian Testing for Leverage Effect in Stochastic Volatility Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 53(3), pages 1153-1164, March.

    More about this item


    Bayes factor; Decision theory; EM algorithm; Deviance; Markov chain Monte Carlo; Latent variable models;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates


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