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Priors about Observables in Vector Autoregressions

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  • Marek Jarocinski

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  • Albert Marcet

Abstract

Standard practice in Bayesian VARs is to formulate priors on the autoregres- sive parameters, but economists and policy makers actually have priors about the behavior of observable variables. We show how this kind of prior can be used in a VAR under strict probability theory principles. We state the inverse problem to be solved and we propose a numerical algorithm that works well in practical situations with a very large number of parameters. We prove various convergence theorems for the algorithm. As an application, we first show that the results in Christiano et al. (1999) are very sensitive to the introduction of various priors that are widely used. These priors turn out to be associated with undesirable priors on observables. But an empirical prior on observables helps clarify the relevance of these estimates: we find much higher persistence of out- put responses to monetary policy shocks than the one reported in Christiano et al. (1999) and a significantly larger total effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Marek Jarocinski & Albert Marcet, 2013. "Priors about Observables in Vector Autoregressions," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 929.13, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:929.13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ivan A. Canay & Andres Santos & Azeem M. Shaikh, 2013. "On the Testability of Identification in Some Nonparametric Models With Endogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(6), pages 2535-2559, November.
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    3. Stéphane Bonhomme & Jean-Marc Robin, 2010. "Generalized Non-Parametric Deconvolution with an Application to Earnings Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 491-533.
    4. Litterman, Robert B, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian Vector Autoregressions-Five Years of Experience," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, January.
    5. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1983. "Forecasting and Conditional Projection Using Realistic Prior Distributions," NBER Working Papers 1202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sims, Christopher A & Zha, Tao, 1998. "Bayesian Methods for Dynamic Multivariate Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 949-968, November.
    7. Jarociński, Marek & Marcet, Albert, 2010. "Autoregressions in small samples, priors about observables and initial conditions," Working Paper Series 1263, European Central Bank.
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    9. Adjemian, Stéphane & Bastani, Houtan & Juillard, Michel & Karamé, Fréderic & Maih, Junior & Mihoubi, Ferhat & Perendia, George & Pfeifer, Johannes & Ratto, Marco & Villemot, Sébastien, 2011. "Dynare: Reference Manual Version 4," Dynare Working Papers 1, CEPREMAP, revised Feb 2018.
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    Cited by:

    1. Weale, Martin & Wieladek, Tomasz, 2016. "What are the macroeconomic effects of asset purchases?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 81-93.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Vector Autoregression; Bayesian Estimation; Prior about Observables; Inverse Problem; Monetary Policy Shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • 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

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