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Explosive Roots in Level Vector Autoregressive Models

Listed author(s):
  • Hammad Qureshi

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Ohio State University)

Level vector autoregressive (VAR) models are used extensively in empirical macroeconomic research. However, estimated level VAR models may contain explosive roots, which is at odds with the widespread consensus among macroeconomists that roots are at most unity. This paper investigates the frequency of explosive roots in estimated level VAR models in the presence of stationary and nonstationary variables. Monte Carlo simulations based on datasets from the macroeconomic literature reveal that the frequency of explosive roots exceeds 40% in the presence of unit roots. Even when all the variables are stationary, the frequency of explosive roots is substantial. Furthermore, explosion increases significantly, to as much as 100% when the estimated level VAR coefficients are corrected for small-sample bias. These results suggest that researchers estimating level VAR models on macroeconomic datasets encounter explosive roots, a phenomenon that is contrary to common macroeconomic belief, with a very high frequency. Monte Carlo simulations in the paper reveal that imposing unit roots in the estimation can substantially reduce the frequency of explosion. Hence one way to mitigate explosive roots is to estimate vector error correction models.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/pdf/qureshi/wp08-02.pdf
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Paper provided by Ohio State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-02.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Handle: RePEc:osu:osuewp:08-02
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