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Vector autoregression evidence on monetarism: another look at the robustness debate

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  • Richard M. Todd

Abstract

This paper is a case study of the use of vector autoregression (VAR) models to test economic theories. It focuses on the work of Christopher A. Sims, who in 1980 found that relationships in economic data generated by a small VAR model were inconsistent with those implied by a simple form of monetarist theory. The paper describes the work of researchers who criticized Sims' results as not robust and Sims' response to these critics. The paper reexamines all of this work by estimating hundreds of variations of Sims' model. The paper concludes that both Sims and his critics are right: Sims' conclusion about monetarism is robust, but some of his other statistical results are not. In general, the paper concludes that VAR models can be used to test theories, but that any relationships they uncover in the data must be carefully checked for robustness.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard M. Todd, 1990. "Vector autoregression evidence on monetarism: another look at the robustness debate," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 14(Spr), pages 19-37.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:1990:i:spr:p:19-37:n:v.14no.2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 437-442, October.
    2. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1987. "Temporal aggregation and structural inference in macroeconomics," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 63-130, January.
    3. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 454-454, October.
    4. Leamer, Edward E., 1985. "Vector autoregressions for causal inference?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 255-304, January.
    5. David E. Runkle, 1987. "Vector autoregressions and reality," Staff Report 107, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    6. Roberds, William & Whiteman, Charles H, 1992. "Monetary Aggregates as Monetary Targets: A Statistical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 24(2), pages 141-161, May.
    7. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
    8. Spencer, David E, 1989. "Does Money Matter? The Robustness of Evidence from Vector Autoregressions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(4), pages 442-454, November.
    9. Bernanke, Ben S., 1986. "Alternative explanations of the money-income correlation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 49-99, January.
    10. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "A reconsideration of Sims' evidence concerning monetarism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 167-171.
    11. Cooley, Thomas F. & Leroy, Stephen F., 1985. "Atheoretical macroeconometrics: A critique," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 283-308, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1992. "Bayes Methods for Trending Multiple Time Series with an Empirical Application to the US Economy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1025, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Mohammed I Ansari & Ira N Gang, 1999. "Liberalization Policy: ‘Fits & Starts’ or Gradual Change in India," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 41(4), pages 23-46, December.
    3. Phillips, Peter C. B., 1998. "Impulse response and forecast error variance asymptotics in nonstationary VARs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1-2), pages 21-56.
    4. Kamas, Linda, 1995. "Monetary policy and inflation under the crawling peg: Some evidence from VARs for Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 145-161, February.
    5. Ali F. Darrat & Marc C. Chopin & Ross N. Dickens, 2001. "The Dollar and U.S. Inflation: Some Evidence from a Vecm Process," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 45(2), pages 3-12, October.
    6. Kandil, Magda, 2005. "Money, interest, and prices: Some international evidence," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 129-147.
    7. Gerald A. Carlino & Robert H. DeFina, 1997. "The differential regional effects of monetary policy: evidence from the U.S. States," Working Papers 97-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    8. R. W. Hafer & Ali M. Kutan, 2002. "Detrending and the Money-Output Link: International Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 159-174, July.
    9. Ansari, M. I., 1996. "Monetary vs. fiscal policy: Some evidence from vector autoregression for India," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 677-698.
    10. Choi, Jae-Young & Ratti, Ronald A., 2000. "The Predictive Power of Alternative Indicators of Monetary Policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 581-610, October.
    11. Vilasuso, Jon, 1999. "The Liquidity Effect and the Operating Procedure of the Federal Reserve," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 443-461, July.

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    Keywords

    Vector autoregression; Monetary theory;

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