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Do the Innovations in a Monetary VAR Have Finite Variances?


  • Greg Hannsgen


Since Christopher Sims's "Macroeconomics and Reality" (1980), macroeconomists have used structural VARs, or vector autoregressions, for policy analysis. Constructing the impulse-response functions and variance decompositions that are central to this literature requires factoring the variance-covariance matrix of innovations from the VAR. This paper presents evidence consistent with the hypothesis that at least some elements of this matrix are infinite for one monetary VAR, as the innovations have stable, non-Gaussian distributions, with characteristic exponents ranging from 1.5504 to 1.7734 according to ML estimates. Hence, Cholesky and other factorizations that would normally be used to identify structural residuals from the VAR are impossible.

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  • Greg Hannsgen, 2008. "Do the Innovations in a Monetary VAR Have Finite Variances?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_546, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_546

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    1. Luiz-Fernando De Paula & Antonio J. Alves, 2003. "Banking behaviour and the Brazilian economy after the Real Plan: The post-Keynesian approch," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 56(227), pages 337-365.
    2. Axel A. Weber & Wolfgang Lemke & Andreas Worms, 2008. "How useful is the concept of the natural real rate of interest for monetary policy?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 49-63, January.
    3. Alvaro Angeriz & Philip Arestis, 2008. "Assessing inflation targeting through intervention analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 293-317, April.
    4. Luiz Fernando de Paula, 2007. "FINANCIAL LIBERALISATION, EXCHANGE RATE REGIME AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE IN BRICs COUNTRIES," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 016, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    5. Alvaro Angeriz & Philip Arestis, 2007. "Assessing the Performance of 'Inflation Targeting Lite' Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(11), pages 1621-1645, November.
    6. Luis Miguel Galindo & Jaime Ros, 2008. "Alternatives to inflation targeting in Mexico," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 201-214.
    7. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2008. "Are the European Central Bank and Bank of England Macroeconomic Models Consistent with the New Consensus in Macroeconomics?," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 11(2), pages 51-68, Winter.
    8. Reisen, Helmut & Grandes, Martín, 2005. "Exchange rate regimes and macroeconomic performance in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Greg Hannsgen, 2011. "Infinite-variance, Alpha-stable Shocks in Monetary SVAR: Final Working Paper Version," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_682, Levy Economics Institute.

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