NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Michele Lenza

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Working Papers

October 2012Prior Selection for Vector Autoregressions
with Domenico Giannone, Giorgio E. Primiceri: w18467
Vector autoregressions (VARs) are flexible time series models that can capture complex dynamic interrelationships among macroeconomic variables. However, their dense parameterization leads to unstable inference and inaccurate out-of-sample forecasts, particularly for models with many variables. A solution to this problem is to use informative priors, in order to shrink the richly parameterized unrestricted model towards a parsimonious naïve benchmark, and thus reduce estimation uncertainty. This paper studies the optimal choice of the informativeness of these priors, which we treat as additional parameters, in the spirit of hierarchical modeling. This approach is theoretically grounded, easy to implement, and greatly reduces the number and importance of subjective choices in the setting o...
November 2009The Feldstein-Horioka fact
with Domenico Giannone: w15519
This paper shows that general equilibrium effects can partly rationalize the high correlation between saving and investment rates observed in OECD countries. We find that once controlling for general equilibrium effects the saving-retention coefficient remains high in the 70’s but decreases considerably since the 80’s, consistently with the increased capital mobility in OECD countries.
December 2008Business Cycles in the Euro Area
with Domenico Giannone, Lucrezia Reichlin: w14529
This paper shows that the EMU has not affected historical characteristics of member countries' business cycles and their cross-correlations. Member countries which had similar levels of GDP per-capita in the seventies have also experienced similar business cycles since then and no significant change associated with the EMU can be detected. For the other countries, volatility has been historically higher and this has not changed in the last ten years. We also find that the aggregate euro area per-capita GDP growth since 1999 has been lower than what could have been predicted on the basis of historical experience and US observed developments. The gap between US and euro area GDP per capita level has been 30% on average since 1970 and there is no sign of catching up or of further widening.

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