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The Spurious Effect of Unit Roots on Exogeneity Tests in Vector Autoregressions: An Analytical Study

This paper analyzes whether inclusion of a statistically independent random walk in a vector autoregression can result in spurious inference. The problem was raised originally by Ohanian (1988). In a Monte Carlo simulation based on the VAR's estimated by Sims (1980b, 1982), Ohanian found that block exogeneity of the genuine variables with respect to an artificially generated random walk variable was rejected too often. In the present paper we attempt a full analytical study of this problem. It can be shown that if the genuine variables are nonstationary, the Wald statistic for testing the block exogeneity hypothesis does not have the usual asymptotic chi-square distribution. This result is consistent with Ohanian's finding. Furthermore, the derived asymptotic distribution is free of nuisance parameters so that we can unambiguously determine the effect of including the random walk. Interestingly, it can also be shown that if the genuine variables of the model are stationary, the asymptotic distribution is still chi-square in spite of the inclusion of the random walk.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d09b/d0978.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 978.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: May 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Oxford Economic Papers (1993), 59: 229-255
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:978
Note: CFP 854.
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Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Robert B. Litterman & Laurence M. Weiss, 1984. "Money, real interest rates, and output: a reinterpretation of postwar U.S. data," Staff Report 89, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Phillips, P.C.B., 1986. "Understanding spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 311-340, December.
  3. Peter C.B. Phillips & Joon Y. Park, 1986. "Statistical Inference in Regressions with Integrated Processes: Part 2," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 819R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1987.
  4. Toda, Hiro Y & Phillips, Peter C B, 1993. "Vector Autoregressions and Causality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1367-93, November.
  5. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  6. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Comparison of Interwar and Postwar Business Cycles: Monetarism Reconsidered," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 250-57, May.
  7. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1987. "Multiple Regression with Integrated Time Series," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 852, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Ohanian, Lee E., 1988. "The spurious effects of unit roots on vector autoregressions : A Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 251-266, November.
  9. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  10. Sims, Christopher A & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1990. "Inference in Linear Time Series Models with Some Unit Roots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 113-44, January.
  11. Peter C.B. Phillips & Victor Solo, 1989. "Asymptotics for Linear Processes," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 932, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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