Error Bands for Impulse Responses

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Abstract

We show how correctly to extend known methods for generating error bands in reduced form VAR's to overidentified models. We argue that the conventional pointwise bands common in the literature should be supplemented with measures of shape uncertainty, and we show how to generate such measures. We focus on bands that characterize the shape of the likelihood. Such bands are not classical confidence regions. We explain that classical confidence regions mix information about parameter location with information about model fit, and hence can be misleading as summaries of the implications of the data for the location of parameters. Because classical confidence regions also present conceptual and computational problems in multivariate time series models, we suggest that likelihood-based bands, rather than approximate confidence bands based on asymptotic theory, be standard in reporting results for this type of model.

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