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The Value of Structural Information in the VAR Model


  • Rodney W. Strachan

    () (Keele University, Department of Economics)

  • Herman K. van Dijk

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam)


Economic policy decisions are often informed by empirical economic analysis. While the decision-maker is usually only interested in good estimates of outcomes, the analyst is interested in estimating the model. Accurate inference on the structural features of a model, such as cointegration, can improve policy analysis as it can improve estimation, inference and forecast efficiency from using that model. However, using a model does not guarantee good estimates of the object of interest and, as it assigns a probability of one to a model and zero to near-by models, takes extreme zero-one account of the ‘weight of evidence’ in the data and the researcher’s uncertainty. By using the uncertainty associated with the structural features in a model set, one obtains policy analysis that is not conditional on the structure of the model and can improve efficiency if the features are appropriately weighted. In this paper tools are presented to allow for unconditional inference on the vector autoregressive (VAR) model. In particular, we employ measures on manifolds to elicit priors on subspaces defined by particular features of the VAR model. The features considered are cointegration, exogeneity, deterministic processes and overidentification. Two applications - money demand in Australia, and a macroeconomic model of the UK proposed by Garratt, Lee, Persaran, and Shin (2002) are used to illustrate the feasibility of the proposed methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodney W. Strachan & Herman K. van Dijk, 2004. "The Value of Structural Information in the VAR Model," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2004/02, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kee:kerpuk:2004/02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Strachan, R.W. & van Dijk, H.K., 2003. "The value of structural information in the VAR model," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2003-17, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter & Rodney W. Strachan, 2008. "Re-Examining the Consumption-Wealth Relationship: The Role of Model Uncertainty," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 341-367, March.
    2. Rodney W. Strachan & Herman K. Dijk, 2003. "Bayesian Model Selection with an Uninformative Prior," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(s1), pages 863-876, December.

    More about this item


    Posterior probability; Laplace approximation; Structural modelling; Cointegration; Exogeneity; Model averaging;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection


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