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VARs, Common Factors and the Empirical Validation of Equilibrium Business Cycle Models

  • Giannone, Domenico
  • Reichlin, Lucrezia
  • Sala, Luca

Equilibrium business cycle models have typically less shocks than variables. As pointed out by Altug, 1989, and Sargent, 1989, if variables are measured with error, this characteristic implies that the model solution for measured variables has a factor structure. This Paper compares estimation performance for the impulse response coefficients based on a VAR approximation to this class of models and an estimation method that explicitly takes into account the restrictions implied by the factor structure. Bias and mean squared error for both factor based and VAR based estimates of impulse response functions are quantified using, as a data generating process, a calibrated standard equilibrium business cycle model. We show that, at short horizons, VAR estimates of impulse response functions are less accurate than factor estimates while the two methods perform similarly at medium and long run horizons.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3701.

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Date of creation: Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3701
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  1. Mark W. Watson, 1991. "Measures of Fit for Calibrated Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sumru Altug, 1986. "Time to build and aggregate fluctuations: some new evidence," Working Papers 277, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1998. "Let's Get Real: A Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 453-73, July.
  4. Filippo Altissimo & Antonio Bassanetti & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin & Giovanni Veronese, 2001. "A real time coincident indicator of the euro area business cycle," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 436, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  5. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1999. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Identification and Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Diffusion Indexes," NBER Working Papers 6702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert F. Engle & Sharon Kozicki, 1990. "Testing For Common Features," NBER Technical Working Papers 0091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gamber, Edward N & Joutz, Frederick L, 1993. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1387-93, December.
  9. Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1993. "The dynamic effects of aggregate demand and supply disturbances: comment," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10159, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  11. Issler, Joao Victor & Vahid, Farshid, 2001. "Common cycles and the importance of transitory shocks to macroeconomic aggregates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 449-475, June.
  12. Jeffrey R. Campbell, 1997. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1991. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 819-40, September.
  14. Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Two Models of Measurements and the Investment Accelerator," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-87, April.
  15. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Sala, Luca, 2002. "Tracking Greenspan: Systematic and Unsystematic Monetary Policy Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 3550, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Vahid, Farshid & Issler, Joao Victor, 2002. "The importance of common cyclical features in VAR analysis: a Monte-Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 341-363, August.
  17. Thomas J. Sargent & Christopher A. Sims, 1977. "Business cycle modeling without pretending to have too much a priori economic theory," Working Papers 55, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Christiano, Lawrence J, 2002. "Solving Dynamic Equilibrium Models by a Method of Undetermined Coefficients," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 21-55, October.
  19. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
  20. 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.
  21. Engle, Robert F & Kozicki, Sharon, 1993. "Testing for Common Features: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(4), pages 393-95, October.
  22. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  23. Vahid, F & Engle, Robert F, 1993. "Common Trends and Common Cycles," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 341-60, Oct.-Dec..
  24. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1979. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Working Papers 127, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  25. Watson, Mark W. & Engle, Robert F., 1983. "Alternative algorithms for the estimation of dynamic factor, mimic and varying coefficient regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 385-400, December.
  26. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-62, April.
  27. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
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