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Some Issues in Using Sign Restrictions for Identifying Structural VARs

The paper looks at estimation of structural VARs with sign restrictions. Since sign restrictions do not generate a unique model it is necessary to find some way of summarizing the information they yield. Existing methods present impulse responses from different models and it is argued that they should come from a common model. If this is not done the implied shocks implicit in the impulse responses will not be orthogonal. A method is described that tries to resolve this difficulty. It works with a common model whose impulse responses are as close as possible to the median values of the impulse responses (taken over the range of models satisfying the sign restrictions). Using a simple demand and supply model it is shown that there is no reason to think that sign restrictions will generate better quantitative estimates of the effects of shocks than existing methods such as assuming a system is recursive.

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File URL: http://www.ncer.edu.au/papers/documents/WpNo14Apr07.pdf
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Paper provided by National Centre for Econometric Research in its series NCER Working Paper Series with number 14.

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Date of creation: 13 Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:qut:auncer:2007-8
Contact details of provider: Phone: 07 3138 5066
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Web page: http://www.ncer.edu.au

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  1. Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "What are the Effects of Monetary Policy on Output? Results from an Agnostic Identification Procedure," CEPR Discussion Papers 2137, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Peersman, Gert, 2003. "What Caused the Early Millennium Slowdown? Evidence Based on Vector Autoregressions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4087, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Roland Straub & Gert Peersman, 2006. "Putting the New Keynesian Model to a Test," IMF Working Papers 06/135, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2005. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-039, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  5. Faust, Jon, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 207-244, December.
  6. Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Daniel Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Markov-Switching Structural Vector Autoregressions: Theory and Application," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 69, Society for Computational Economics.
  7. Canova, Fabio & Nicolo, Gianni De, 2002. "Monetary disturbances matter for business fluctuations in the G-7," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1131-1159, September.
  8. Almuth Scholl & Harald Uhlig, 2005. "New Evidence on the Puzzles. Results from Agnostic Identification on Monetary Policy and Exchange Rates," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-037, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  9. Jon Faust, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," International Finance Discussion Papers 610, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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