Norges Bank

Working Paper

Have standard VARs remained stable since the crisis?

Author:
Knut Are Aastveit, Andrea Carriero, Todd E. Clark and Massimiliano Marcellino
Series:
Working Paper
Number:
13/2014

Abstract

Small or medium-scale VARs are commonly used in applied macroeconomics for forecasting and evaluating the shock transmission mechanism. This requires the VAR parameters to be stable over the evaluation and forecast sample, or to explicitly consider parameter time variation. The earlier literature focused on whether there were sizable parameter changes in the early 1980s, in either the conditional mean or variance parameters, and in the subsequent period till the beginning of the new century. In this paper we conduct a similar analysis but focus on the effects of the recent crisis.

Using a range of techniques, we provide substantial evidence against parameter stability. The evolution of the unemployment rate seems particularly different relative to its past behavior. We then discuss and evaluate alternative methods to handle parameter instability in a forecasting context. While none of the methods clearly emerges as best, some techniques turn out to be useful to improve the forecasting performance.

Norges Bank’s working papers present research projects and reports that are generally not in their final form. Other analyses by Norges Bank’s economists are also included in the series. The views and conclusions in these documents are those of the authors.

Norges Bank’s Working Papers are also distributed by RepEcSSRN and BIS Central Bank Research Hub.

ISSN 1502-8190 (online)

Published 10 September 2014 15:00
Published 10 September 2014 15:00