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The state space representation and estimation of a time-varying parameter VAR with stochastic volatility

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  • Michael Connolly
  • Taeyoung Doh

Abstract

To capture the evolving relationship between multiple economic variables, time variation in either coefficients or volatility is often incorporated into vector autoregressions (VARs). However, allowing time variation in coefficients or volatility without restrictions on their dynamic behavior can increase the number of parameters too much, making the estimation of such a model practically infeasible. For this reason, researchers typically assume that time-varying coefficients or volatility are not directly observed but follow random processes which can be characterized by a few parameters. The state space representation that links the transition of possibly unobserved state variables with observed variables is a useful tool to estimate VARs with time-varying coefficients or stochastic volatility. ; In this paper, we discuss how to estimate VARs with time-varying coefficients or stochastic volatility using the state space representation. We focus on Bayesian estimation methods which have become popular in the literature. As an illustration of the estimation methodology, we estimate a time-varying parameter VAR with stochastic volatility with the three U.S. macroeconomic variables including inflation, unemployment, and the long-term interest rate. Our empirical analysis suggests that the recession of 2007-2009 was driven by a particularly bad shock to the unemployment rate which increased its trend and volatility substantially. In contrast, the impacts of the recession on the trend and volatility of nominal variables such as the core PCE inflation rate and the ten-year Treasury bond yield are less noticeable.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Connolly & Taeyoung Doh, 2012. "The state space representation and estimation of a time-varying parameter VAR with stochastic volatility," Research Working Paper RWP 12-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp12-04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Canova, Fabio & Gambetti, Luca, 2009. "Structural changes in the US economy: Is there a role for monetary policy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 477-490, February.
    2. Jacquier, Eric & Polson, Nicholas G & Rossi, Peter E, 2002. "Bayesian Analysis of Stochastic Volatility Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 69-87, January.
    3. Jacquier, Eric & Polson, Nicholas G & Rossi, Peter E, 1994. "Bayesian Analysis of Stochastic Volatility Models: Comments: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 413-417, October.
    4. Todd E. Clark, 2011. "Real-Time Density Forecasts From Bayesian Vector Autoregressions With Stochastic Volatility," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(3), pages 327-341, July.
    5. Koop, Gary & Korobilis, Dimitris, 2010. "Bayesian Multivariate Time Series Methods for Empirical Macroeconomics," Foundations and Trends(R) in Econometrics, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 267-358, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas A. Lubik & Christian Matthes, 2015. "Time-Varying Parameter Vector Autoregressions: Specification, Estimation, and an Application," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 323-352.

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