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Jel Classification:C22 

Working Paper
The Role of the Prior in Estimating VAR Models with Sign Restrictions

Several recent studies have expressed concern that the Haar prior typically imposed in estimating sign-identified VAR models may be unintentionally informative about the implied prior for the structural impulse responses. This question is indeed important, but we show that the tools that have been used in the literature to illustrate this potential problem are invalid. Specifically, we show that it does not make sense from a Bayesian point of view to characterize the impulse response prior based on the distribution of the impulse responses conditional on the maximum likelihood estimator of ...
Working Papers , Paper 2030

Working Paper
Real-Time Forecasting with a Large, Mixed Frequency, Bayesian VAR

We assess point and density forecasts from a mixed-frequency vector autoregression (VAR) to obtain intra-quarter forecasts of output growth as new information becomes available. The econometric model is specified at the lowest sampling frequency; high frequency observations are treated as different economic series occurring at the low frequency. We impose restrictions on the VAR to account explicitly for the temporal ordering of the data releases. Because this type of data stacking results in a high-dimensional system, we rely on Bayesian shrinkage to mitigate parameter proliferation. The ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-30

Working Paper
exuber: Recursive Right-Tailed Unit Root Testing with R

This paper introduces the R package exuber for testing and date-stamping periods of mildly explosive dynamics (exuberance) in time series. The package computes test statistics for the supremum ADF test (SADF) of Phillips, Wu and Yu (2011), the generalized SADF (GSADF) of Phillips, Shi and Yu (2015a,b), and the panel GSADF proposed by Pavlidis, Yusupova, Paya, Peel, Martínez-García, Mack and Grossman (2016); generates finite-sample critical values based on Monte Carlo and bootstrap methods; and implements the corresponding date-stamping procedures. The recursive least-squares algorithm that ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 383

Vulnerable growth

We study the conditional distribution of GDP growth as a function of economic and financial conditions. Deteriorating financial conditions are associated with an increase in the conditional volatility and a decline in the conditional mean of GDP growth, leading the lower quantiles of GDP growth to vary with financial conditions and the upper quantiles to be stable over time: Upside risks to GDP growth are low in most periods while downside risks increase as financial conditions become tighter. We argue that amplification mechanisms in the financial sector generate the observed growth ...
Staff Reports , Paper 794

Working Paper
Modeling Event Studies with Heterogeneous Treatment Effects

This paper develops a simple approach to overcome the shortcomings of using a standard, single treatment–effect event study to assess the ability of an empirical model to measure heterogeneous treatment effects. Equally as important, we discuss how the standard errors reported in a typical event-study analysis for the posttreatment event-time effects are, without additional information, of limited use for assessing posttreatment variations in the treatment effects. The simple reformulation of the standard event—study approach described and illustrated with artificially constructed data in ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2023-11

Uncertainty about Trade Policy Uncertainty

We revisit in this note the macroeconomic impact of the recent rise in trade policy uncertainty. As in the literature, we do find that high trade policy uncertainty can adversely impact domestic and foreign economic activity. In addition, we identify an alternative business sentiment channel that is separate and distinct from the impact of trade policy uncertainty, which provides a complementary explanation of the recent developments in the U.S. and global economic activities. This sentiment channel also implies that subsiding trade policy uncertainty does not necessarily result in a recovery ...
Staff Reports , Paper 919

Working Paper
Significance Bands for Local Projections

An impulse response function describes the dynamic evolution of an outcome variable following a stimulus or treatment. A common hypothesis of interest is whether the treatment affects the outcome. We show that this hypothesis is best assessed using significance bands rather than relying on commonly displayed confidence bands. Under the null hypothesis, we show that significance bands are trivial to construct with standard statistical software using the LM principle, and should be reported as a matter of routine when displaying impulse responses graphically.
Working Paper Series , Paper 2023-15

Working Paper
State-Dependent Local Projections

Do state-dependent local projections asymptotically recover the population responses of macroeconomic aggregates to structural shocks? The answer to this question depends on how the state of the economy is determined and on the magnitude of the shocks. When the state is exogenous, the local projection estimator recovers the population response regardless of the shock size. When the state depends on macroeconomic shocks, as is common in empirical work, local projections only recover the conditional response to an infinitesimal shock, but not the responses to larger shocks of interest in many ...
Working Papers , Paper 2302

Working Paper
Systemic Tail Risk: High-Frequency Measurement, Evidence and Implications

We develop a new framework to measure market-wide (systemic) tail risk in the cross-section of high-frequency stock returns. We estimate the time-varying jump intensities of asset prices and introduce a testing approach that identifies multi-asset tail risk based on the release times of scheduled news announcements. Using high-frequency data on individual U.S. stocks and sector-specific ETF portfolios, we find that most of the FOMC announcements create systemic left tail risk, but there is no evidence that macro announcements do so. The magnitude of the tail risk induced by Fed news varies ...
Working Papers , Paper 2023-016

Working Paper
Finding a Stable Phillips Curve Relationship: A Persistence-Dependent Regression Mode

We establish that the Phillips curve is persistence-dependent: inflation responds differently to persistent versus moderately persistent (or versus transient) fluctuations in the unemployment gap. Previous work fails to model this dependence, so it finds numerous “inflation puzzles”—such as missing inflation/disinflation—noted in the literature. Our model specification eliminates these puzzles; for example, the Phillips curve has not weakened, and inflation is not “stubbornly low” at present. The model’s coefficients are stable, and it provides accurate conditional recursive ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-09R


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