The goal of `sstvars`

is to provide a comprehensive toolkit for maximum likelihood (ML) estimation and analysis of reduced form and structural smooth transition vector autoregressive (STVAR) models (including Threshold VAR models). Various transition weight functions, conditional distributions, and identification methods are and will be accommodated. Also constrained ML estimation is supported with constraints on the autoregressive parameters, regimewise means, weight parameters, and the impact matrix. The package is, however, limited to endogenous switching variables to ensure that ergodicity and stationarity of the models is verifiable and that the true generalized impulse response functions can be estimated. See the vignette for a more detailed description of the package.

You can install the released version of gmvarkit from CRAN with:

You can install the development version of sstvars from GitHub with:

This is a basic example on how to use `sstvars`

in time series analysis. The estimation process is computationally demanding and takes advantage of parallel computing. After estimating the model, it is shown by simple examples how to conduct some further analysis.

```
# These examples use the data 'gdpdef' which comes with the package, and contains the quarterly percentage growth rate
# of real U.S. GDP and quarterly percentage growth rate of U.S. GDP implicit price deflator, covering the period
# from 1959Q1 to 2019Q4.
data(gdpdef, package="sstvars")
# Some of the below examples are computationally demanding. Running them all will take approximately 15 minutes.
### Reduced form STVAR models ###
# Estimate a reduced form two-regime Student's t STVAR p=3 model with logistic transition weight function using the first
# lag of the second variable (GDP deflator) as the switching variable. The below estimation is based on 20 estimation
# rounds with seeds set for reproducibility.
# (IMPORTANT: typically empirical applications require more estimation rounds, e.g., hundreds or thousands).
fit <- fitSTVAR(gdpdef, p=3, M=2, weight_function="logistic", weightfun_pars=c(2, 1), cond_dist="Student",
nrounds=20, ncores=2, seeds=1:20)
# Information on the estimated model:
plot(fit) # Plot the estimated transition weight function with data
summary(fit) # Summary printoout of the estimated model
print(fit, standard_error_print=TRUE) # Print standard errors of the estimates (assuming the standard asymptotics on the ML estimator)
get_foc(fit) # The first order condition (gradient of the log-likelihood function)
get_soc(fit) # The second order condition (eigenvalues of approximated Hessian)
profile_logliks(fit) # Plot profile log-likelihood functions about the estimate
# Check the stationarity condition for the estimated model, i.e., that the
# upper bound of the joint spectral radius is less than one:
bound_JSR(fit, epsilon=0.1, ncores=2) # Adjust epsilon for a tighter bound
# Estimate the above model but with the autoregressive matrices restricted to be equal in both regimes
# (so that only the intercepts and the conditional covariance matrix vary in time):
C_mat <- rbind(diag(3*2^2), diag(3*2^2))
fitc <- fitSTVAR(gdpdef, p=3, M=2, weight_function="logistic", weightfun_pars=c(2, 1), cond_dist="Student",
AR_constraints=C_mat, nrounds=20, ncores=2, seeds=1:20)
# Estimate the above model but with the autoregressive matrices and unconditional means restricted to be equal
# in both regimes (so that only the conditional covariance matrix varies in time):
fitcm <- fitSTVAR(gdpdef, p=3, M=2, weight_function="logistic", weightfun_pars=c(2, 1), cond_dist="Student",
AR_constraints=C_mat, mean_constraints=list(1:2), nrounds=20, ncores=2, seeds=1:20)
# Estimate the above logistic STVAR model without constraints on the autoregressive parameters but with the
# the location parameter constrained to 1 and scale parameter unconstrained.
fitw <- fitSTVAR(gdpdef, p=3, M=2, weight_function="logistic", weightfun_pars=c(2, 1), cond_dist="Student",
weight_constraints=list(R=matrix(c(0, 1), nrow=2), r=c(1, 0)), nrounds=20, ncores=2, seeds=1:20)
# Test the constraint on the location parameter with the likelihood ratio test:
LR_test(fit, fitw) # See also Wald_test and Rao_test
# Residual based model diagnostics:
diagnostic_plot(fit, type="series", resid_type="standardized") # Standardized residual time series
diagnostic_plot(fit, type="ac", resid_type="raw") # Autocorrelation function of unstandardized residuals
diagnostic_plot(fit, type="ch", resid_type="standardized") # Autocorrelation function of squared standardized residuals
diagnostic_plot(fit, type="dist", resid_type="standardized") # Histograms and Q-Q plots of standardized residuals
Portmanteau_test(fit, nlags=20, which_test="autocorr") # Portmanteau test for remaining autocorrelation
Portmanteau_test(fit, nlags=20, which_test="het.sked") # Portmanteau test applied for testing cond. het.kedasticity
# Simulate a sample path from the estimated model, initial drawn from the first regime:
sim <- simulate(fit, nsim=100, init_regime=1)
# Forecast future values of the process:
pred <- predict(fit, nsteps=10, ci=c(0.95, 0.80))
plot(pred)
### Structural STVAR models ###
# stvars implements two identification methods: recursive identification and
# identification by heteroskedasticity. The structural models are estimated
# based on preliminary estimates from a reduced form model. If the structural model
# is not overidentifying, the model is merely reparametrized and no estimation is
# required (recursively identified models are just reduced form models marked as structural).
# Identify the above logistic STVAR model by recursive identification:
fitrec <- fitSSTVAR(fit, identification="recursive")
fitrec
# Identify the above logistic STVAR model by heteroskedasticity:
fithet <- fitSSTVAR(fit, identification="heteroskedasticity")
fithet
# Identification by non-Gaussianity available for models indepdent Student's t distribution
# as the conditional distribution. The reduced form model is then readily identified by
# non-Gaussianity. Estimate a reduced form model identified by non-Gaussianity:
fitindt <- fitSTVAR(gdpdef, p=2, M=2, weight_function="logistic", weightfun_pars=c(2, 1),
cond_dist="ind_Student", nrounds=20, ncores=2, seeds=1:20)
fitindt
# Impose overidentying constraint with the argument B_constraints by estimating
# with fitSSTVARs:
fitindtb <- fitSSTVAR(fitindt, identification="non-Gaussianity",
B_constraints=matrix(c(NA, NA, 0, NA), nrow=2))
# Reorder the columns of the impact matrix of fithet to the reverse ordering:
fithet <- reorder_B_columns(fithet, perm=c(2, 1))
fithet
# Change all signs of the first column of the impact matrix of fithet:
fithet <- swap_B_signs(fithet, which_to_swap=1)
fithet
# Estimate the generalized impulse response function (GIRF) for the recursively
# identified model to one-standard-error positive shocks with the starting values
# generated form the first regime, N=30 steps ahead and 95% confidence intervals
# that reflect uncertainty about the initial value within the regime:
girf1 <- GIRF(fitrec, which_shocks=1:2, shock_size=1, N=30, init_regime=1, ci=0.95)
plot(girf1)
# Estimate the above GIRF but instead of drawing initial values form the first regime,
# use tha last p observations of the data as the initial values:
girf2 <- GIRF(fitrec, which_shocks=1:2, shock_size=1, N=30, init_values=fitrec$data)
plot(girf2)
# Estimate the generalized impulse response function (GIRF) for the recursively
# identified model to two-standard-error negative shocks with the starting values
# generated form the second regime, N=30 steps ahead and 95% confidence intervals
# that reflect uncertainty about the initial value within the regime. Also, scale
# the responses to the first shock to correspond to a 0.3 increase of the first variable.
# Moreover, accumulate the responses of the second variable.
girf3 <- GIRF(fitrec, which_shocks=1:2, shock_size=-2, N=30, init_regime=2,
scale=c(1, 1, 0.3), which_cumulative=2, ci=0.95)
plot(girf3)
# Estimate the generalized forecast error variance decomposition (GFEVD) for the
# recursively identified model with the initial values being all possible length p
# histories in the data, N=30 steps ahead to one-standard-error positive shocks.
gfevd1 <- GFEVD(fitrec, shock_size=1, N=30, initval_type="data")
plot(gfevd1)
# Estimate the GFEVD for the recursively identified model with the initial values
# being all possible length p histories in the data AND the signs and sizes of the
# corresponding shocks being the identified structural shocks recovered from the
# fitted model.
gfevd2 <- GFEVD(fitrec, N=30, use_data_shocks=TRUE)
plot(gfevd2)
# Plot time series of the impact response GFEVDs to the first shock to examine
# the contribution of the first shocks to the forecast error variances at impact
# at each point of time:
plot(gfevd2, data_shock_pars=c(1, 0))
# Estimate the linear impulse response function for the recursively identified
# STVAR model based on the first regime, the responses of the second variable
# accumulated:
irf1 <- linear_IRF(fitrec, N=30, regime=1, which_cumulative=2)
plot(irf1)
# The above model is nonlinear, so confidence bounds (that reflect the uncertainty
# about the parameter estimate) are not available.
# Bootstrapped confidence bounds can be calculated for models with time-invariant
# autoregressive coeffients, e.g., the restricted model fitcm estimated above.
# Identify the shocks if fitcm by heteroskedasticity:
fitcmhet <- fitSSTVAR(fitcm, identification="heteroskedasticity")
fitcmhet
# Estimate the linear impulse reponse function for fitcmhet with bootstrapped
# 95% confidence bounds that reflect uncertainty about the parameter estimates:
irf2 <- linear_IRF(fitcmhet, N=30, ci=0.95, bootstrap_reps=250)
plot(irf2)
```

- Anderson H., Vahid F. (1998) Testing multiple equation systems for common nonlinear components.
*Journal of Econometrics*,**84**:1, 1-36. - Hubrich K., Teräsvirta. T. (2013). Thresholds and Smooth Transitions in Vector Autoregressive Models.
*CREATES Research Paper 2013-18, Aarhus University.* - Kheifets I., Saikkonen P. (2020). Stationarity and ergodicity of vector STAR models.
*Econometrics Review*,**39**:407-414, 1311-1324. - Koop G., Pesaran M.H., Potter S.M. (1996). Impulse response analysis in nonlinear multivariate models.
*Journal of Econometrics*,**74**:1, 119-147. - Lanne M., Virolainen S. 2024. A Gaussian smooth transition vector autoregressive model: An application to the macroeconomic effects of severe weather shocks. Unpublished working paper, available as arXiv:2403.14216.
- Virolainen S. 2024. Identification by non-Gaussianity in structural threshold and smooth transition vector autoregressive. Unpublished working paper, available as arXiv:2404.19707.