Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 656: A Note on the Accuracy of Markov-Chain Approximations to Highly Persistent AR(1)-Processes

Martin Floden ()
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Martin Floden: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This note examines the accuracy of methods that are commonly used to approximate AR(1)-processes with discrete Markov chains. The quadrature-based method suggested by Tauchen and Hussey (1991) generates excellent approximations with a small number of nodes when the autocorrelation is low or modest. This method however has problems when the autocorrelation is high, as it typically is found to be in recent empirical studies of income processes. I suggest an alternative weighting function for the Tauchen-Hussey method, and I also note that the older method suggested by Tauchen (1986) is relatively robust to high autocorrelation.

Keywords: numerical methods; income processes; autoregressive process

JEL-codes: C60

9 pages, March 12, 2007

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