Department of Economics
University of Notre Dame
3028 Jenkins Nanovic Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2018||Inference in Structural Vector Autoregressions When the Identifying Assumptions are Not Fully Believed: Re-evaluating the Role of Monetary Policy in Economic Fluctuations|
with James D. Hamilton: w24597
Reporting point estimates and error bands for structural vector autoregressions that are only set identified is a very common practice. However, unless the researcher is persuaded on the basis of prior information that some parameter values are more plausible than others, this common practice has no formal justification. When the role and reliability of prior information is defended, Bayesian posterior probabilities can be used to form an inference that incorporates doubts about the identifying assumptions. We illustrate how prior information can be used about both structural coefficients and the impacts of shocks, and propose a new distribution, which we call the asymmetric t distribution, for incorporating prior beliefs about the signs of equilibrium impacts in a nondogmatic way. We ...
|December 2017||Structural Interpretation of Vector Autoregressions with Incomplete Identification: Revisiting the Role of Oil Supply and Demand Shocks|
with James D. Hamilton: w24167
Traditional approaches to structural vector autoregressions can be viewed as special cases of Bayesian inference arising from very strong prior beliefs. These methods can be generalized with a less restrictive formulation that incorporates uncertainty about the identifying assumptions themselves. We use this approach to revisit the importance of shocks to oil supply and demand. Supply disruptions turn out to be a bigger factor in historical oil price movements and inventory accumulation a smaller factor than implied by earlier estimates. Supply shocks lead to a reduction in global economic activity after a significant lag, whereas shocks to oil demand do not.
|August 2017||Did the Renewable Fuel Standard Shift Market Expectations of the Price of Ethanol?|
with Reinhard Ellwanger, Lutz Kilian: w23752
It is commonly believed that the response of the price of corn ethanol (and hence of the price of corn) to shifts in biofuel policies operates in part through market expectations and shifts in storage demand, yet to date it has proved difficult to measure these expectations and to empirically evaluate this view. We quantify the extent to which price changes were anticipated by the market, the extent to which they were unanticipated, and how the risk premium in these markets has evolved. We show that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) increased ethanol price expectations by as much $1.50 initially, raising ethanol storage demand starting and causing an increase in the price of ethanol. There is no conclusive evidence that the tightening of the RFS in 2008 shifted market expectations, but our...
|December 2014||Sign Restrictions, Structural Vector Autoregressions, and Useful Prior Information|
with James D. Hamilton: w20741
This paper makes the following original contributions to the literature. (1) We develop a simpler analytical characterization and numerical algorithm for Bayesian inference in structural vector autoregressions that can be used for models that are overidentified, just-identified, or underidentified. (2) We analyze the asymptotic properties of Bayesian inference and show that in the underidentified case, the asymptotic posterior distribution of contemporaneous coefficients in an n-variable VAR is confined to the set of values that orthogonalize the population variance-covariance matrix of OLS residuals, with the height of the posterior proportional to the height of the prior at any point within that set. For example, in a bivariate VAR for supply and demand identified solely by sign restr...
Published: Christiane Baumeister & James D. Hamilton, 2015. "Sign Restrictions, Structural Vector Autoregressions, and Useful Prior Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83(5), pages 1963-1999, 09. citation courtesy of