• An Introduction to Impulse Response Analysis of VAR Models

    Impulse response analysis is an important step in econometric analyes, which employ vector autoregressive models. Their main purpose is to describe the evolution of a model’s variables in reaction to a shock in one or more variables. This feature allows to trace the transmission of a single shock within an otherwise noisy system of equations and, thus, makes them very useful tools in the assessment of economic policies. This post provides an introduction to the concept and interpretation of impulse response functions as they are commonly used in the VAR literature and provides code for their calculation in R.
  • An Introduction to Bayesian VAR (BVAR) Models

    Bayesian methods have significantly gained in popularity during the last decades as computers have become more powerful and new software has been developed. Their flexibility and other advantageous features have made these methods also more popular in econometrics. This post gives a brief introduction to Bayesian VAR (BVAR) models and provides the code to set up and estimate a basic model with the bvartools package. BVAR models Bayesian VAR (BVAR) models have the same mathematical form as any other VAR model, i.
  • Stochastic Search Variable Selection

    Introduction A general drawback of vector autoregressive (VAR) models is that the number of estimated coefficients increases disproportionately with the number of lags. Therefore, fewer information per parameter is available for the estimation as the number of lags increases. In the Bayesian VAR literature one approach to mitigate this so-called curse of dimensionality is stochastic search variable selection (SSVS) as proposed by George et al. (2008). The basic idea of SSVS is to assign commonly used prior variances to parameters, which should be included in a model, and prior variances close to zero to irrelevant parameters.
  • An Introduction to Vector Autoregression (VAR)

    Since the seminal paper of Sims (1980) vector autoregressive models have become a key instrument in macroeconomic research. This post presents the basic concept of VAR analysis and guides through the estimation procedure of a simple model. When I started my undergraduate program in economics I occasionally encountered the abbreviation VAR in some macro papers. I was fascinated by those waves in the boxes titled impulse responses and wondered how difficult it would be to do such reseach on my own.
  • Time Series Topics

    Work in progress (July 2019). I will try to update this page over the next few months. This section is intended to provide an overview of the relevant issues in (macro)economic time series analysis. Again the standard disclaimer: This site does not replace a good textbook, but it should help you to get a grasp of the basic concepts more quickly than if you learned it on your own. The intended structure of this site is: