Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/210723
Authors: 
Lewis, Daniel J.
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
Staff Report 871
Abstract: 
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 is available only 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 the shock variances. These higher moments are available without parametric assumptions like those required by existing approaches. I offer intuitive criteria to select among shock orderings; this selection does not impact inference asymptotically. The identification scheme performs well in simulations. I apply it to the debate on fiscal multipliers. I obtain estimates that are lower than those of Blanchard and Perotti (2002) and Mertens and Ravn (2014), but in line with those of more recent studies.
Subjects: 
identification
impulse response function
structural shocks
SVAR
fiscal multiplier
time-varying volatility
heteroskedasticity
JEL: 
C32
C58
E20
E62
H30
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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