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22/06/2021

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Lugsail lag windows for estimating time-average covariance matrices

Abstract

Lag windows are commonly used in time series, econometrics, steady-state simulation, and Markov chain Monte Carlo to estimate time-average covariance matrices. In the presence of high correlation, estimators of the time-average covariance matrix almost always exhibit significant negative bias, leading to undesirable finite-sample properties. We propose a new family of lag windows specifically designed to improve finite-sample performance by offsetting this negative bias in the opposite direction. Any existing lag window can be adapted into a lugsail equivalent with no additional assumptions. We use these lag windows within spectral variance estimators and demonstrate its advantages in a linear regression model with autocorrelated and heteroskedastic residuals. We further consider weighted batch means estimators since spectral variance estimators are too computationally intensive for large simulation output. We obtain the bias and variance results for these multivariate estimators and significantly weaken the mixing condition on the process. Superior finite-sample properties are illustrated in a vector autoregressive process and a Bayesian logistic regression model.

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