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Small sample properties of generalized method of moments based Wald tests

  • Craig Burnside
  • Martin Eichenbaum

This paper assesses the small sample properties of Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) based Wald statistics. The analysis is conducted assuming that the data generating process corresponds to (i) a simple vector white noise process and (ii) an equilibrium business cycle model. Our key findings are that the small sample size of the Wald tests exceeds their asymptotic size, and that their size increases uniformly with the dimensionality of joint hypotheses. For tests involving even moderate numbers of moment restrictions, the small sample size of the tests greatly exceeds their asymptotic size. Relying on asymptotic distribution theory leads one to reject joint hypothesis tests far too often. We argue that the source of the problem is the difficulty of estimating the spectral density matrix of the GMM residuals, which is needed to conduct inference in a GMM environment. Imposing restrictions implied by the underlying economic model being investigated or the null hypothesis being tested on this spectral density matrix can lead to substantial improvements in the small sample properties of the Wald tests.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues with number 94-12.

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Date of creation: 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhma:94-12
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  1. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
  2. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1996. "Factor-Hoarding and the Propagation of Business-Cycle Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1154-74, December.
  3. Kenneth D. West & David W. Wilcox, 1993. "Some Evidence on Finite Sample Behavior of an Instrumental Variables Estimator of the Linear Quadtratic Inventory Model," NBER Technical Working Papers 0139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
  5. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
  6. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Statistical Properties of Generalized Method-of-Moments Estimators of Structural Parameters Obtained from Financial Market Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(4), pages 397-416, October.
  7. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  8. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  9. repec:bla:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:4:p:631-53 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Sumru Altug, 1986. "Time to build and aggregate fluctuations: some new evidence," Working Papers 277, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  12. Kenneth D. West, 1993. "Inventory Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Donald W.K. Andrews & Christopher J. Monahan, 1990. "An Improved Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 942, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. Ellen R. McGrattan & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1993. "Household production and taxation in the stochastic growth model," Staff Report 166, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1990. "On tests of representative consumer asset pricing models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 285-304, October.
  16. Martin S. Eichenbaum & Lars Peter Hansen, 1987. "Estimating Models with Intertemporal Substitution Using Aggregate Time Series Data," NBER Working Papers 2181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  18. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 90, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  19. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & George R. Moore & Scott Schuh, 1993. "Estimating the linear-quadratic inventory model: maximum likelihood versus generalized method of moments," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Lawrence J. Christiano & Wouter den Haan, 1995. "Small sample properties of GMM for business cycle analysis," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  21. Gregory, Allan W & Veall, Michael R, 1985. "Formulating Wald Tests of Nonlinear Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1465-68, November.
  22. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  23. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-58, May.
  24. repec:att:wimass:9220 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Kenneth D. West & Whitney K. Newey, 1995. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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