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HAR Testing for Spurious Regression in Trend

Peter Phillips (), Xiaohu Wang () and Yonghui Zhang ()
Additional contact information
Xiaohu Wang: Department of Economics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
Yonghui Zhang: School of Economics, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China

Econometrics, 2019, vol. 7, issue 4, 1-28

Abstract: The usual t test, the t test based on heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation consistent (HAC) covariance matrix estimators, and the heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation robust (HAR) test are three statistics that are widely used in applied econometric work. The use of these significance tests in trend regression is of particular interest given the potential for spurious relationships in trend formulations. Following a longstanding tradition in the spurious regression literature, this paper investigates the asymptotic and finite sample properties of these test statistics in several spurious regression contexts, including regression of stochastic trends on time polynomials and regressions among independent random walks. Concordant with existing theory (Phillips 1986, 1998; Sun 2004, 2014b) the usual t test and HAC standardized test fail to control size as the sample size n → ∞ in these spurious formulations, whereas HAR tests converge to well-defined limit distributions in each case and therefore have the capacity to be consistent and control size. However, it is shown that when the number of trend regressors K → ∞ , all three statistics, including the HAR test, diverge and fail to control size as n → ∞ . These findings are relevant to high-dimensional nonstationary time series regressions where machine learning methods may be employed.

Keywords: HAR inference; Karhunen–Loève representation; spurious regression; t -statistics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B23 C C00 C01 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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