Generalized Impulse Response Analysis: General or Extreme?
This note discusses a pitfall of using the generalized impulse response function (GIRF) in vector autoregressive (VAR) models (Pesaran and Shin, 1998). The GIRF is general because it is invariant to the ordering of the variables in the VAR. The GIRF, in fact, is extreme because it yields a set of response functions that are based on extreme identifying assumptions that contradict each other, unless the covariance matrix is diagonal. With an empirical example, the present note demonstrates that the GIRF may yield quite misleading economic inferences.
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