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VAR Modeling and Business Cycle Analysis: A Taxonomy of Errors

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  • D.S. Poskitt

    ()

  • Wenying Yao

    ()

Abstract

In this article we investigate the theoretical behaviour of finite lag VAR(n) models fitted to time series that in truth come from an infinite order VAR(?) data generating mechanism. We show that overall error can be broken down into two basic components, an estimation error that stems from the difference between the parameter estimates and their population ensemble VAR(n) counterparts, and an approximation error that stems from the difference between the VAR(n) and the true VAR(?). The two sources of error are shown to be present in other performance indicators previously employed in the literature to characterize, so called, truncation effects. Our theoretical analysis indicates that the magnitude of the estimation error exceeds that of the approximation error, but experimental results based upon a prototypical real business cycle model indicate that in practice the approximation error approaches its asymptotic position far more slowly than does the estimation error, their relative orders of magnitude notwithstanding. The experimental results suggest that with sample sizes and lag lengths like those commonly employed in practice VAR(n) models are likely to exhibit serious errors of both types when attempting to replicate the dynamics of the true underlying process and that inferences based on VAR(n) models can be very untrustworthy.

Suggested Citation

  • D.S. Poskitt & Wenying Yao, 2012. "VAR Modeling and Business Cycle Analysis: A Taxonomy of Errors," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 11/12, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:msh:ebswps:2012-11
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    File URL: http://business.monash.edu/econometrics-and-business-statistics/research/publications/ebs/wp11-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kapetanios, G. & Pagan, A. & Scott, A., 2007. "Making a match: Combining theory and evidence in policy-oriented macroeconomic modeling," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 565-594, February.
    2. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1994. "VAR analysis, nonfundamental representations, blaschke matrices," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 307-325, July.
    3. Kascha, Christian & Mertens, Karel, 2009. "Business cycle analysis and VARMA models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 267-282, February.
    4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2007. "Assessing Structural VARs," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 1-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2005. "Can Long-Run Restrictions Identify Technology Shocks?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1237-1278, December.
    6. Poskitt, Don S, 2000. "Strongly Consistent Determination of Cointegrating Rank via Canonical Correlations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(1), pages 77-90, January.
    7. Mittnik, Stefan, 1987. "Non-recursive methods for computing the coefficients of the autoregressive and the moving-average representation of mixed ARMA processes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 279-284.
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    Cited by:

    1. Soccorsi, Stefano, 2016. "Measuring nonfundamentalness for structural VARs," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 86-101.
    2. Chan, Joshua C.C. & Eisenstat, Eric & Koop, Gary, 2016. "Large Bayesian VARMAs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 192(2), pages 374-390.
    3. Eickmeier, Sandra & Ng, Tim, 2015. "How do US credit supply shocks propagate internationally? A GVAR approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 128-145.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    VAR; estimation error; approximation error; RBC model;

    JEL classification:

    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: 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
    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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