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Variational Bayesian Inference in Large Vector Autoregressions with Hierarchical Shrinkage

Author

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  • Deborah Gefang

    ()

  • Gary Koop

    ()

  • Aubrey Poon

    ()

Abstract

Many recent papers in macroeconomics have used large Vector Autoregressions (VARs) involving a hundred or more dependent variables. With so many parameters to estimate, Bayesian prior shrinkage is vital in achieving reasonable results. Computational concerns currently limit the range of priors used and render difficult the addition of empirically important features such as stochastic volatility to the large VAR. In this paper, we develop variational Bayes methods for large VARs which overcome the computational hurdle and allow for Bayesian inference in large VARs with a range of hierarchical shrinkage priors and with time-varying volatilities. We demonstrate the computational feasibility and good forecast performance of our methods in an empirical application involving a large quarterly US macroeconomic data set.

Suggested Citation

  • Deborah Gefang & Gary Koop & Aubrey Poon, 2019. "Variational Bayesian Inference in Large Vector Autoregressions with Hierarchical Shrinkage," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2019-07, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
  • Handle: RePEc:nsr:escoed:escoe-dp-2019-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary M. Koop, 2013. "Forecasting with Medium and Large Bayesian VARS," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 177-203, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua C. C. Chan, 2019. "Large Bayesian vector autoregressions," CAMA Working Papers 2019-19, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Joshua C. C. Chan, 2019. "Minnesota-type adaptive hierarchical priors for large Bayesian VARs," CAMA Working Papers 2019-61, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Variational inference; Vector Autoregression; Stochastic Volatility; Hierarchical Prior; Forecasting;

    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
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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