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Theory of Low Frequency Contamination from Nonstationarity and Misspecification: Consequences for HAR Inference

Alessandro Casini, Taosong Deng and Pierre Perron

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Abstract: We establish theoretical results about the low frequency contamination (i.e., long memory effects) induced by general nonstationarity for estimates such as the sample autocovariance and the periodogram, and deduce consequences for heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation robust (HAR) inference. We present explicit expressions for the asymptotic bias of these estimates. We distinguish cases where this contamination only occurs as a small-sample problem and cases where the contamination continues to hold asymptotically. We show theoretically that nonparametric smoothing over time is robust to low frequency contamination. Our results provide new insights on the debate between consistent versus inconsistent long-run variance (LRV) estimation. Existing LRV estimators tend to be in inflated when the data are nonstationary. This results in HAR tests that can be undersized and exhibit dramatic power losses. Our theory indicates that long bandwidths or fixed-b HAR tests suffer more from low frequency contamination relative to HAR tests based on HAC estimators, whereas recently introduced double kernel HAC estimators do not super from this problem. Finally, we present second-order Edgeworth expansions under nonstationarity about the distribution of HAC and DK-HAC estimators and about the corresponding t-test in the linear regression model.

Date: 2021-03, Revised 2021-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ecm and nep-ets
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