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Pitfalls in VAR based return decompositions: A clarification

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  • Engsted, Tom
  • Pedersen, Thomas Q.
  • Tanggaard, Carsten

Abstract

We analyze the pitfalls involved in VAR based return decompositions. First, we show that recent criticism of such decompositions is misplaced and builds on invalid VAR models and erroneous interpretations. Second, we derive the requirements needed for VAR decompositions to be valid. A crucial – but often neglected – requirement is that the asset price needs to be included as a state variable in the VAR. In equity return decompositions this requirement is equivalent to including the dividend–price ratio in the VAR. Finally, we clarify the intriguing issue of the role of the residual component in return decompositions. In a properly specified first-order VAR, it makes no difference whether cash flow news or discount rate news is backed out residually, and it makes no difference whether both news components are computed directly or one of them is backed out residually.

Suggested Citation

  • Engsted, Tom & Pedersen, Thomas Q. & Tanggaard, Carsten, 2012. "Pitfalls in VAR based return decompositions: A clarification," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1255-1265.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:5:p:1255-1265 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2011.11.004
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Return variance decomposition; News components; VAR model; Information set; Predictive variables; Redundant models;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation

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