Estimating Conditional Expectations When Volatility Fluctuates
Asymptotic variances of estimated parameters in models of conditional expectations are calculated analytically assuming a GARCH process for conditional volatility. Under such heteroskedasticity, OLS estimators of parameters in single-period models can possess substantially larger asymptotic variances than GMM estimators employing additional multiperiod moment conditions - an approach yielding no efficiency gain under homoskedasticity. In estimating models of long-horizon expectations the VAR approach provides an efficiency advantage over long-horizon regressions under homoskedasticity, but that ordering can reverse under heteroskedasticity, especially when the conditional mean and variance are both persistent. In such cases, the VAR approach maintains a slight efficiency advantage if the OLS estimator is replaced by an alternative GMM estimator. Heteroskedasticity can increase dramatically the apparent asymptotic power advantages of long-horizon regressions to reject constant expectations against persistent alternatives.
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