Narrative Sign Restrictions for SVARs
Juan Antolín-Díaz and Juan F. Rubio-Ramíez
Working Paper 2016-16
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We identify structural vector autoregressions (SVARs) using narrative sign restrictions. Narrative sign restrictions constrain the structural shocks and the historical decomposition around key historical events, ensuring that they agree with the established narrative account of these episodes. Using models of the oil market and monetary policy, we show that narrative sign restrictions are highly informative. We highlight that adding a single narrative sign restriction dramatically sharpens and even changes the inference of SVARs originally identified via traditional sign restrictions. Our approach combines the appeal of narrative methods with the popularized usage of traditional sign restrictions.
JEL classification: C32, E52, Q35
Key words: narrative information, SVARs, Bayesian approach, sign restrictions, oil market, monetary policy