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Explosive Roots in Level Vector Autoregressive Models

Hammad Qureshi

No 08-02, Working Papers from Ohio State University, Department of Economics

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Level VAR Models; Explosive Roots; Bias Correction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 16 pages
Date: 2008-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ecm and nep-ets
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