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Flexible Mixture Priors for Large Time-varying Parameter Models

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  • Niko Hauzenberger

Abstract

Time-varying parameter (TVP) models often assume that the TVPs evolve according to a random walk. This assumption, however, might be questionable since it implies that coefficients change smoothly and in an unbounded manner. In this paper, we relax this assumption by proposing a flexible law of motion for the TVPs in large-scale vector autoregressions (VARs). Instead of imposing a restrictive random walk evolution of the latent states, we carefully design hierarchical mixture priors on the coefficients in the state equation. These priors effectively allow for discriminating between periods where coefficients evolve according to a random walk and times where the TVPs are better characterized by a stationary stochastic process. Moreover, this approach is capable of introducing dynamic sparsity by pushing small parameter changes towards zero if necessary. The merits of the model are illustrated by means of two applications. Using synthetic data we show that our approach yields precise parameter estimates. When applied to US data, the model reveals interesting patterns of low-frequency dynamics in coefficients and forecasts well relative to a wide range of competing models.

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  • Niko Hauzenberger, 2020. "Flexible Mixture Priors for Large Time-varying Parameter Models," Papers 2006.10088, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2006.10088
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kastner, Gregor & Frühwirth-Schnatter, Sylvia, 2014. "Ancillarity-sufficiency interweaving strategy (ASIS) for boosting MCMC estimation of stochastic volatility models," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 408-423.
    2. Martin Kliem & Alexander Kriwoluzky & Samad Sarferaz, 2016. "On the Low‐Frequency Relationship Between Public Deficits and Inflation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(3), pages 566-583, April.
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    4. Cross, Jamie L. & Hou, Chenghan & Poon, Aubrey, 2020. "Macroeconomic forecasting with large Bayesian VARs: Global-local priors and the illusion of sparsity," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 899-915.
    5. Martin Feldkircher & Florian Huber & Gregor Kastner, 2017. "Sophisticated and small versus simple and sizeable: When does it pay off to introduce drifting coefficients in Bayesian VARs?," Papers 1711.00564, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2017.
    6. Florian Huber & Gregor Kastner & Martin Feldkircher, 2016. "Should I stay or should I go? A latent threshold approach to large-scale mixture innovation models," Papers 1607.04532, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2018.
    7. Niko Hauzenberger & Florian Huber & Gary Koop, 2020. "Dynamic Shrinkage Priors for Large Time-varying Parameter Regressions using Scalable Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods," Papers 2005.03906, arXiv.org.
    8. Florian Huber & Gary Koop & Luca Onorante, 2021. "Inducing Sparsity and Shrinkage in Time-Varying Parameter Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 669-683, July.
    9. Florian Huber & Martin Feldkircher, 2019. "Adaptive Shrinkage in Bayesian Vector Autoregressive Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 27-39, January.
    10. Michael Pfarrhofer, 2020. "Forecasts with Bayesian vector autoregressions under real time conditions," Papers 2004.04984, arXiv.org.
    11. Niko Hauzenberger & Florian Huber & Gary Koop & Luca Onorante, 2019. "Fast and Flexible Bayesian Inference in Time-varying Parameter Regression Models," Papers 1910.10779, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2021.
    12. Florian Huber & Gregor Kastner & Martin Feldkircher, 2019. "Should I stay or should I go? A latent threshold approach to large‐scale mixture innovation models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(5), pages 621-640, August.
    13. Florian Huber & Gary Koop & Michael Pfarrhofer, 2020. "Bayesian Inference in High-Dimensional Time-varying Parameter Models using Integrated Rotated Gaussian Approximations," Papers 2002.10274, arXiv.org.
    14. Gregor Kastner & Florian Huber, 2020. "Sparse Bayesian vector autoregressions in huge dimensions," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(7), pages 1142-1165, November.
    15. Pascal Paul, 2020. "The Time-Varying Effect of Monetary Policy on Asset Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 690-704, October.
    16. Carriero, Andrea & Clark, Todd E. & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2019. "Large Bayesian vector autoregressions with stochastic volatility and non-conjugate priors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 212(1), pages 137-154.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Manfred M. & Hauzenberger, Niko & Huber, Florian & Pfarrhofer, Michael, 2021. "General Bayesian time-varying parameter VARs for predicting government bond yields," Working Papers in Regional Science 2021/01, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.

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