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The importance of common cyclical features in VAR analysis: a Monte-Carlo study

  • Vahid, Farshid
  • Issler, João Victor

Despite the commonly held belief that aggregate data display short-run comovement, there has been little discussion about the econometric consequences of this feature of the data. We use exhaustive Monte-Carlo simulations to investigate the importance of restrictions implied by common-cyclical features for estimates and forecasts based on vector autoregressive models. First, we show that the ìbestî empirical model developed without common cycle restrictions need not nest the ìbestî model developed with those restrictions. This is due to possible differences in the lag-lengths chosen by model selection criteria for the two alternative models. Second, we show that the costs of ignoring common cyclical features in vector autoregressive modelling can be high, both in terms of forecast accuracy and efficient estimation of variance decomposition coefficients. Third, we find that the Hannan-Quinn criterion performs best among model selection criteria in simultaneously selecting the lag-length and rank of vector autoregressions.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 417.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:417
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  1. 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.
  2. Gerald A. Carlino & Keith Sill, 1996. "Common trends and common cycles in regional per capita incomes," Working Papers 96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. Issler, João Victor & Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti, 1998. "Time-series properties and empirical evidence of growth and infraestructure: revised version," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 336, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  4. Clements, M.P. & Hendry, D., 1992. "On the Limitations of Comparing Mean Square Forecast Errors," Economics Series Working Papers 99138, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Vahid, F. & Issler, J.V., 2001. "The Importance Of Common Cyclical Features in VAR Analysis: A Monte-Carlo Study," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 2/01, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  8. Zellner, A. & Hong, C., 1988. "Forecasting International Growth Rates Using Bayesian Shrinkage And Other Procedures," Papers m8802, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  9. Engle, Robert F & Kozicki, Sharon, 1993. "Testing for Common Features," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(4), pages 369-80, October.
  10. Robert G. King & Charles I. Plosser & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1987. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  12. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Clements, M.P. & Hendry, D.F., 1992. "Forecasting in Cointegrated Systems," Economics Series Working Papers 99139, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Engle, Robert F. & Issler, Joao Victor, 1995. "Estimating common sectoral cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 83-113, February.
  15. Lucas, Robert E., 1977. "Understanding business cycles," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 7-29, January.
  16. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  17. Engle, Robert F. & Yoo, Byung Sam, 1987. "Forecasting and testing in co-integrated systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 143-159, May.
  18. Granger, Clive W. J. & King, Maxwell L. & White, Halbert, 1995. "Comments on testing economic theories and the use of model selection criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 173-187, May.
  19. 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..
  20. repec:fgv:epgrbe:v:47:n:2:a:1 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Gerald Carlino & Keith Sill, 2001. "Regional Income Fluctuations: Common Trends And Common Cycles," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 446-456, August.
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