Priors for macroeconomic time series and their application
This paper takes up Bayesian inference in a general trend stationary model for macroeconomic time series with independent Student-t disturbances. The model is linear in the data, but nonlinear in parameters. An informative but nonconjugate family of prior distributions for the parameters is introduced, indexed by a single parameter which can be readily elicited. The main technical contribution is the construction of posterior moments, densities, and odds ratios using a six-step Gibbs sampler. Mappings from the index parameter of the family of prior distribution to posterior moments, ...
Bayesian inference for linear models subject to linear inequality constraints
The normal linear model, with sign or other linear inequality constraints on its coefficients, arises very commonly in many scientific applications. Given inequality constraints Bayesian inference is much simpler than classical inference, but standard Bayesian computational methods become impractical when the posterior probability of the inequality constraints (under a diffuse prior) is small. This paper shows how the Gibbs sampling algorithm can provide an alternative, attractive approach to inference subject to linear inequality constraints in this situation, and how the GHK probability ...
Variable selection and model comparison in regression
In the specification of linear regression models it is common to indicate a list of candidate variables from which a subset enters the model with nonzero coefficients. This paper interprets this specification as a mixed continuous-discrete prior distribution for coefficient values. It then utilizes a Gibbs sampler to construct posterior moments. It is shown how this method can incorporate sign constraints and provide posterior probabilities for all possible subsets of regressors. The methods are illustrated using some standard data sets.
Monte Carlo simulation and numerical integration
This is a survey of simulation methods in economics, with a specific focus on integration problems. It describes acceptance methods, importance sampling procedures, and Markov chain Monte Carlo methods for simulation from univariate and multivariate distributions and their application to the approximation of integrals. The exposition gives emphasis to combinations of different approaches and assessment of the accuracy of numerical approximations to integrals and expectations. The survey illustrates these procedures with applications to simulation and integration problems in economics.
Using simulation methods for Bayesian econometric models: inference, development, and communication
This paper surveys the fundamental principles of subjective Bayesian inference in econometrics and the implementation of those principles using posterior simulation methods. The emphasis is on the combination of models and the development of predictive distributions. Moving beyond conditioning on a fixed number of completely specified models, the paper introduces subjective Bayesian tools for formal comparison of these models with as yet incompletely specified models. The paper then shows how posterior simulators can facilitate communication between investigators (for example, ...
An empirical analysis of income dynamics among men in the PSID: 1968-1989
This study uses data from the Panel Survey of Income Dynamics (PSID) to address a number of questions about life cycle earnings mobility. It develops a dynamic reduced form model of earnings and marital status that is nonstationary over the life cycle. The study reaches several firm conclusions about life cycle earnings mobility. Incorporating non-Gaussian shocks makes it possible to account for transitions between low and higher earnings states, a heretofore unresolved problem. The non-Gaussian distribution substantially increases the lifetime return to post-secondary education, and ...
Statistical inference in the multinomial multiperiod probit model
Statistical inference in multinomial multiperiod probit models has been hindered in the past by the high dimensional numerical integrations necessary to form the likelihood functions, posterior distributions, or moment conditions in these models. We describe three alternative approaches to inference that circumvent the integration problem: Bayesian inference using Gibbs sampling and data augmentation to compute posterior moments, simulated maximum likelihood (SML) estimation using the GHK recursive probability simulator, and method of simulated moment (MSM) estimation using the GHK simulator. ...
Mixture of normals probit models
This paper generalizes the normal probit model of dichotomous choice by introducing mixtures of normals distributions for the disturbance term. By mixing on both the mean and variance parameters and by increasing the number of distributions in the mixture these models effectively remove the normality assumption and are much closer to semiparametric models. When a Bayesian approach is taken, there is an exact finite-sample distribution theory for the choice probability conditional on the covariates. The paper uses artificial data to show how posterior odds ratios can discriminate between ...
Prior density ratio class robustness in econometrics
This paper provides a general and efficient method for computing density ratio class bounds on posterior moments, given the output of a posterior simulator. It shows how density ratio class bounds for posterior odds ratios may be formed in many situations, also on the basis of posterior simulator output. The computational method is used to provide density ratio class bounds in two econometric models. It is found that the exact bounds are approximated poorly by their asymptotic approximation, when the posterior distribution of the function of interest is skewed. It is also found that posterior ...
Bayesian comparison of econometric models