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Working Paper
How Biased Are U.S. Government Forecasts of the Federal Debt?

Government debt and forecasts thereof attracted considerable attention during the recent financial crisis. The current paper analyzes potential biases in different U.S. government agencies? one-year-ahead forecasts of U.S. gross federal debt over 1984-2012. Standard tests typically fail to detect biases in these forecasts. However, impulse indicator saturation (IIS) detects economically large and highly significant time-varying biases, particularly at turning points in the business cycle. These biases do not appear to be politically related. IIS defines a generic procedure for examining ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1189

Robust inference in models identified via heteroskedasticity

Identification via heteroskedasticity exploits differences in variances across regimes to identify parameters in simultaneous equations. I study weak identification in such models, which arises when variances change very little or the variances of multiple shocks change close to proportionally. I show that this causes standard inference to become unreliable, outline two tests to detect weak identification, and establish conditions for the validity of nonconservative methods for robust inference on an empirically relevant subset of the parameter vector. I apply these tools to monetary policy ...
Staff Reports , Paper 876

Identifying shocks via time-varying volatility

An n-variable structural vector auto-regression (SVAR) can be identified (up to shock order) from the evolution of the residual covariance across time if the structural shocks exhibit heteroskedasticity (Rigobon (2003), Sentana and Fiorentini (2001)). However, the path of residual covariances can only be recovered from the data under specific parametric assumptions on the variance process. I propose a new identification argument that identifies the SVAR up to shock orderings using the autocovariance structure of second moments of the residuals, implied by an arbitrary stochastic process for ...
Staff Reports , Paper 871

A Robust Test for Weak Instruments with Multiple Endogenous Regressors

We extend the popular bias-based test of Stock and Yogo (2005) for instrument strength in linear instrumental variables regressions with multiple endogenous regressors to be robust to heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation. Equivalently, we extend the robust test of Montiel Olea and Pflueger (2013) for one endogenous regressor to the general case with multiple endogenous regressors. We describe a simple procedure for applied researchers to conduct our generalized first-stage test of instrument strength and provide efficient and easy-to-use Matlab code for its implementation. We demonstrate ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1020


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