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Sufficient information in structural VARs

  • Mario Forni


  • Luca Gambetti


We derive necessary and sufficient conditions under which a set of variables is information-ally sufficient, i.e. contains enough information to estimate the structural shocks with a VAR model. Based on such conditions, we provide a procedure to test for informational sufficiency. If sufficiency is rejected, we propose a strategy to amend the VAR. Our method can be applied to FAVAR models and can be used to determine how many factors to include in such models. We apply our procedure to a VAR including TFP, unemployment and per-capita hours worked. We find that the three variables are not informationally sucient. When adding missing information, the effects of technology shocks change dramatically.

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Paper provided by University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi" in its series Center for Economic Research (RECent) with number 062.

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Length: pages 26
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mod:recent:062
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  1. Forni, Mario & Giannone, Domenico & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2009. "Opening The Black Box: Structural Factor Models With Large Cross Sections," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(05), pages 1319-1347, October.
  2. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  3. Ben Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr S. Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422, January.
  4. Eric Leeper & Todd Walker & Susan Yang SHu-Chun, 2009. "Fiscal Foresight And Information Flows," Caepr Working Papers 2009-001, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  5. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2008. "Are Structural VARs with Long-Run Restrictions Useful in Developing Business Cycle Theory?," NBER Working Papers 14430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1993. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 644-52, June.
  7. Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1994. "VAR analysis, non-fundamental representations, Blashke matrices," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10151, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2009. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," NBER Working Papers 15049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Federico Ravenna, 2005. "Vector Autoregressions and Reduced Form Representations of DSGE Models," 2005 Meeting Papers 841, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti & Marco Lippi & Luca Sala, 2014. "Noise Bubbles," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 096, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  11. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2006. "Does information help recovering structural shocks from past observations?," Working Paper Series 0632, European Central Bank.
  12. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," NBER Working Papers 14028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti, 2010. "Fiscal Foresight and the Effects of Government Spending," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 851.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  14. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Juan Rubio-Ramirez & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "A, B, C's (and D)'s for Understanding VARs," NBER Technical Working Papers 0308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's All in the Timing," NBER Working Papers 15464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1996. "Dynamic common factors in large cross-sections," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10149, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2003. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," IDEI Working Papers 158, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  18. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
  19. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What happens after a technology shock?," International Finance Discussion Papers 768, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Eric Leeper & Todd Walker, 2011. "Information Flows and News Driven Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 55-71, January.
  21. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2012. "What's News in Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 8984, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Gelper, Sarah & Croux, Christophe, 2007. "Multivariate out-of-sample tests for Granger causality," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 3319-3329, April.
  23. Mertens, Karel & Ravn, Morten O, 2009. "Measuring the Impact of Fiscal Policy in the Face of Anticipation: A Structural VAR Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7423, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Seung C. Ahn & Alex R. Horenstein, 2013. "Eigenvalue Ratio Test for the Number of Factors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 1203-1227, 05.
  25. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti & Marco Lippi & Luca Sala, 2014. "Noisy News in Business Cycles," Working Papers 531, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  26. Barsky, Robert B. & Sims, Eric R., 2011. "News shocks and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 273-289.
  27. Barnichon, Regis, 2010. "Productivity and unemployment over the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 1013-1025, November.
  28. Alexei Onatski, 2010. "Determining the Number of Factors from Empirical Distribution of Eigenvalues," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 1004-1016, November.
  29. Harvey, David I & Leybourne, Stephen J & Newbold, Paul, 1998. "Tests for Forecast Encompassing," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(2), pages 254-59, April.
  30. Luca Gambetti, 2010. "Fiscal Policy, Foresight and the Trade Balance in the U.S," Working Papers 505, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  31. Stephanie Schmitt‐Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2012. "What's News in Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2733-2764, November.
  32. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
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