Sunday, December 2, 2018

December Reading for Econometricians

My suggestions for papers to read during December:


© 2018, David E. Giles

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

More Long-Run Canadian Economic Data

I was delighted to hear recently from former grad. student, Ryan Macdonald, who has worked at Statistics Canada for some years now. Ryan has been kind enough to draw my attention to all sorts of interesting items from time to time (e.g., see my earlier posts, here and here).

I always appreciate hearing from him.

His latest email was prompted by my post, A New Canadian macroeconomic Database.

Ryan wrote:
"I saw your post on long run data and thought you might be interested in a couple of other long-run datasets for your research.  If I remember correctly you are familiar with the GDP/GNI series, Long-run Real Income EstimatesI also added the long-run Bank of Canada commodity price series that go back to 1870 to it.  There is also a dataset for the provinces with estimates going back to 1950 or 1926 depending on the variable: Long-run Provincial and Territorial Data ."
Thanks for this information, Ryan.This will be very helpful, and I'd be more than happy to publicize any further such developments.

© 2018, David E. Giles

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A New Canadian Macroeconomic Database

Anyone who's undertaken empirical macroeconomic research relating to Canada will know that there are some serious data challenges that have to be surmounted.

In particular, getting access to long-term, continuous, time series isn't as easy as you might expect.

Statistics Canada has been criticized frequently over the years by researchers who find that crucial economic series are suddenly "discontinued", or are re-defined in ways that make it extremely difficult to splice the pieces together into one meaningful time-series.

In recognition of these issues, a number of efforts have been made to provide Canadian economic data in forms that researchers need. These include, for instance, Boivin et al. (2010), Bedock and Stevanovic (2107), and Stephen Gordon's on-going "Project Link".

Thanks to Olivier Fortin-Gagnon, Maxime Leroux, Dalibor Stevanovic, &and Stéphane Suprenant we now have an impressive addition to the available long-term Canadian time-series data. Their 2018 working paper, "A Large Canadian Database for Macroeconomic Analysis", discusses their new database and illustrates its usefulness in a variety of ways.

Here's the abstract:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

More Sandwiches, Anyone?

Consider this my Good Deed for the Day!

A re-tweet from a colleague whom I follow on Twitter brought an important paper to my attention. I thought I'd share it more widely.

The paper is titled, "Small-sample methods for cluster-robust variance estimation and hypothesis testing in fixed effect models", by James Pustejovski (@jepusto) and Beth Tipton (@stats-tipton). It appears in The Journal of Business and Economic Statistics.  

You can tell right away, from its title, that this paper is going to be a must-read for empirical economists. And note the words, "Small-sample" in the title - that sounds interesting.

 Here's a compilation of Beth's six tweets:

Monday, November 5, 2018

Econometrics Reading for November

In between raking leaves and dealing with some early snow, I've put together this list of suggested reading for you:
  • Beckert, W., 2018. A note on specification testing in some structural regression models. Mimeo., Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, Birkbeck College, University of London.
  • Clarke, D., 2018. A convenient omitted bias formula for treatment effect models. Economics Letters, in press.
  • Liu, Y. & Y. Rho, 2018. On the choice of instruments in mixed frequency specification tests. Mimeo., School of Business and Economics, Michigan Technological University.
  • Lütkepohl, H., A. Staszewska-Bystrova, & P. Winker, 2018. Constructing joint confidence bands for impulse functions of VAR models - A review. Lodz Economic Working Paper 4/2018, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, University of Lodz.
  • Richardson, A., T. van Florenstein Mulder, & T. Vehbi, 2018. Nowcasting New Zealand GDP using machine learning algorithms.
  • Słoczyński, T., 2018. A general weighted average representation of the ordinary and two-stage least squares estimands. Mimeo., Department of Economics, Brandeis University.

© 2018, David E. Giles

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Refereeing Process in Economics Journals

The peer-review process is an essential part of academic publishing. We use it in the hope of ensuring the honesty, novelty, importance, and timeliness of published research. The selection of (usually anonymous) referees by a representative of the journal to which a research paper has been submitted for consideration, and the preparation of the reports/reviews by those referees, are key steps in the overall process of the dissemination of research results.

There are several different "models" when it comes to the refereeing, or peer-review process. Some of these have been described and compared recently, and in detail, here. It's also interesting to note that peer-reviewing is actually a relatively recent phenomenon in most academic disciplines.

There's no doubt that a well-crafted referee's report is a blessing - to both the recipient author and the handling Editor/Associate Editor/Editorial Board member who's looking to that report for an informed basis for making an editorial decision.

Unfortunately, such reports are not necessarily the norm in Economics/Econometrics - more on this below!

I know this is so, all too well - not only from the times when, as an author, I've been "on the receiving end" of some decidedly unhelpful reports; but also (and much more importantly) from my experiences on the other side of the fence, as a "handling editor" for a quite a number of economics, econometrics, and statistics journals.

Some would say that the academic publishing process is a bit of a crap-shoot. At times, I think that there's some truth to that. However, there's a great deal that both authors and referees can do to make the exercise more rational. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Shout-Out for The Replication Network

In May 2015 I posted about the newly-formed The Replication Network (TRN). Since then, their team has been extremely busy promoting and fostering their objectives to serve "...... as a channel of communication to (i) update scholars about the state of replications in economics, and (ii) establish a network for the sharing  of information and ideas." TRN's "..... goal is to encourage economists and their journals to publish replications."

And they're doing a great job!

As a member of TRN I receive email newsletters from them regularly. I thought I'd share the one that I received this morning, in the hope that it might encourage some of you to become TRN members.

Here it is:

Monday, October 1, 2018

Essential Fall Reading

  • Buono, D., G. Kapetanios, M. Marcellino, G. Mazzi, & F. Papailias, 2018. Big data econometrics - Now casting and early estimates. Working paper N. 82, Baffi Carefin Centre for Applied Research on International Markets, Banking, Finance, and Regulation, Bocconi University.
  • Fair, R. C., 2018. Information content of DSGE forecasts. Mimeo
  • Lewbel, A., 2018. The identification zoo - Meanings of Identification. Forthcoming, Journal of Economic Literature.
  • Pretis, F., J. J. Reade, & G. Sucarrat, 2018. Automated general-to-specific (GETS) regression modeling and indicator saturation for outliers and structural breaks. Journal of Statistical Software, 86, 3.
  • Woodruff, R. S., 1971. A simple method for approximating the variance of a complicated estimate. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 66, 411-414.
  • Zhang, R. & N. H. Chan, 2018. Portmanteau-type tests for unit-root and cointegration. Journal of Econometrics, in press.
© 2018, David E. Giles

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Controlling My Heating Bill Using Bayesian Model Averaging

Where we live, in rural Ontario, we're not connected to "natural gas". Our home furnace runs on propane, and a local supplier sends a tanker to refill our propane tanks on a regular basis during the colder months.

Earlier this month we had to make a decision regarding our contract with the propane retailer. Should we opt for a delivery price that can vary, up or down, throughout the coming fall and winter; or should we "lock in" at a fixed delivery price for the period from October to May of next year?

Now, I must confess that my knowledge of the propane industry is slight, to say the least. I decided that a basic analysis of the historical propane price data might provide some insights to assist in making this decision. It also occurred to me, after doing this, that the analysis that I went through might be of interest to readers, as a simple exercise in forecasting using Bayesian model averaging.

Here are the details...........

Sunday, September 2, 2018

September Reading List

This month's list of recommended reading includes an old piece by Milton Friedman that you may find interesting:
  • Broman, K. W. & K. H. Woo, 2017. Data organization in spreadsheets. American Statistician, 72, 2-10.
  • Friedman, M., 1937. The use of ranks to avoid the assumption of normality implicit in the analysis of variance. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 32, 675-701.
  • Goetz, T. & A. Hecq, 2018. Granger causality testing in mixed-frequency VARs with (possibly) cointegrated processes. MPRA Paper No. 87746.
  • Güriş, B., 2018. A new nonlinear unit root test with Fourier function. Communications in Statistics - Simulation and Computation, in press.
  • Honoré, B. E. & L. Hu, 2017. Poor (Wo)man's bootstrap. Econometrica, 85, 1277-1301. (Discussion paper version.)
  • Peng, R. D., 2018. Advanced Statistical Computing. Electronic resource.
© 2018, David E. Giles