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Business cycle analysis and VARMA models

Can long-run identified structural vector autoregressions (SVARs) discriminate between competing models in practice? Several authors have suggested SVARs fail partly because they are fiite-order approx-imations to infinite-order processes. We estimate vector autoregressive moving average (VARMA) and state space models, which are not misspecified, using simulated data and compare true with estimated impulse responses of hours worked to a technology shock. We find few gains from using VARMA models. However, state space algorithms can outperform SVARs. In particular, the CCA subspace method consistently yields lower mean squared errors, although even these estimates remain too imprecise for reliable inference. The qualitative differences for algorithms based on different representations are small. The comparison with estimation methods without specification error suggests that the main problem is not one of working with a VAR approximation. The properties of the processes used in the literature make identification via long-run restrictions difficult for any method.

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Paper provided by Norges Bank in its series Working Paper with number 2008/05.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 30 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2008_05
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  1. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2005. "Can Long-Run Restrictions Identify Technology Shocks?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1237-1278, December.
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  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2006. "Assessing structural VARs," International Finance Discussion Papers 866, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    • Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2007. "Assessing Structural VARs," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 1-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ellen McGrattan, 2006. "Measurement with Minimal Theory," 2006 Meeting Papers 338, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "A, B, C’s (And D’s) For Understanding VARS," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-018, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Ravenna, Federico, 2007. "Vector autoregressions and reduced form representations of DSGE models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2048-2064, October.
  7. Davidson, James E. H., 1981. "Problems with the estimation of moving average processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 295-310, August.
  8. Pesavento, Elena & Rossi, Barbara, 2004. "Small Sample Confidence Intervals for Multivariate Impulse Response Functions at Long Horizons," CEPR Discussion Papers 4536, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M, 1995. "Output Dynamics in Real-Business-Cycle Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 492-511, June.
  10. Kapetanios, George, 2003. "A note on an iterative least-squares estimation method for ARMA and VARMA models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 305-312, June.
  11. Kilian, Lutz, 2001. "Impulse Response Analysis in Vector Autoregressions with Unknown Lag Order," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 161-79, April.
  12. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations; How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," IMF Working Papers 04/234, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Gali, J., 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," Working Papers 96-28, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  15. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  16. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J. & McGrattan, Ellen R., 2008. "Are structural VARs with long-run restrictions useful in developing business cycle theory?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1337-1352, November.
  17. Dietmar Bauer & Martin Wagner, 2000. "Estimating Cointegrated Systems Using Subspace Algorithms," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0293, Econometric Society.
  18. Cooley, Thomas F. & Dwyer, Mark, 1998. "Business cycle analysis without much theory A look at structural VARs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1-2), pages 57-88.
  19. Patrick J. Kehoe, 2006. "How to advance theory with structural VARs: use the Sims-Cogley-Nason approach," Staff Report 379, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Ireland, Peter N., 2001. "Technology shocks and the business cycle: On empirical investigation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 703-719, May.
  22. Guy Melard & Roch Roy & Abdessamad Saidi, 2006. "Exact maximum likelihood estimation of structured or unit root multivariate time series models," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13754, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  23. Dietmar Bauer, 2005. "Comparing the CCA Subspace Method to Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods in the case of No Exogenous Inputs," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 631-668, 09.
  24. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2005. "A critique of structural VARs using real business cycle theory," Working Papers 631, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  25. Elmar Mertens, 2008. "Are Spectral Estimators Useful for Implementing Long-Run Restrictions in SVARs?," Working Papers 08.01, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  26. Ansley, Craig F. & Newbold, Paul, 1980. "Finite sample properties of estimators for autoregressive moving average models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 159-183, June.
  27. George Kapetanios, 2002. "A Note on an Iterative Least Squares Estimation Method for ARMA and VARMA Models," Working Papers 467, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  28. Granger, Clive W. J. & Jeon, Yongil, 2004. "Thick modeling," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 323-343, March.
  29. Melard, Guy & Roy, Roch & Saidi, Abdessamad, 2006. "Exact maximum likelihood estimation of structured or unit root multivariate time series models," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(11), pages 2958-2986, July.
  30. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  31. repec:hal:journl:hal-00287137 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Francis, Neville & Ramey, Valerie A., 2005. "Is the technology-driven real business cycle hypothesis dead? Shocks and aggregate fluctuations revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1379-1399, November.
  33. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2005. "Implications of Dynamic Factor Models for VAR Analysis," NBER Working Papers 11467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Bauer, Dietmar, 2005. "Estimating Linear Dynamical Systems Using Subspace Methods," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(01), pages 181-211, February.
  35. Christopher A. Sims, 1989. "Models and their uses," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 11, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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