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Confidence Intervals for the Largest Autoresgressive Root in U.S. Macroeconomic Time Series


  • James H. Stock


This paper provides asymptotic confidence intervals for the largest autoregressive root of a time series when this root is close to one. The intervals are readily constructed either graphically or using tables in the Appendix. When applied to the Nelson-Plosser (1982) data set, the main conclusion is that the confidence intervals typically are wide. The conventional emphasis on testing for whether the largest root equals one fails to convey the substantial sampling variability associated with this measure of persistence.

Suggested Citation

  • James H. Stock, 1991. "Confidence Intervals for the Largest Autoresgressive Root in U.S. Macroeconomic Time Series," NBER Technical Working Papers 0105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0105 Note: EFG

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    1. Sargan, John Denis & Bhargava, Alok, 1983. "Testing Residuals from Least Squares Regression for Being Generated by the Gaussian Random Walk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 153-174, January.
    2. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
    3. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1990. "Unit roots in real GNP: Do we know, and do we care?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 7-61, January.
    4. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1987. "Are Output Fluctuations Transitory?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 857-880.
    5. Sims, Christopher A & Uhlig, Harald, 1991. "Understanding Unit Rooters: A Helicopter Tour," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1591-1599, November.
    6. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1992. "Trends and Random Walks in Macroeconomic Time Series: A Re-examination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 661-680, August.
    7. Nabeya, Seiji & Tanaka, Katsuto, 1990. "A General Approach to the Limiting Distribution for Estimators in Time Series Regression with Nonstable Autoregressive Errors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 145-163, January.
    8. Alok Bhargava, 1986. "On the Theory of Testing for Unit Roots in Observed Time Series," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 369-384.
    9. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Calculation of the Limiting Distribution of the Least-Squares Estimator in a Near-Integrated Model," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 241-255, August.
    10. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1991. "Exactly Unbiased Estimation of First Order Autoregressive-Unit Root Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 975, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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