Abstract (Smeekes-Taylor-1)

April 1st, 2011 by Stephan Smeekes

Bootstrap Union Tests for Unit Roots in the Presence of Nonstationary Volatility

Stephan Smeekes and A. M. Robert Taylor

Three important issues surround testing for a unit root in practice: uncertainty as to whether or not a linear deterministic trend is present in the data, uncertainty as to whether the initial condition of the process is (asymptotically) negligible or not, and uncertainly over the possible presence, and if so form, of nonstationary volatility in the data. Assuming homoskedasticity, Harvey, Leybourne and Taylor (2010, Journal of Econometrics, forthcoming) propose decision rules based on a four-way union of rejections of QD and OLS detrended tests, both with and without a linear trend, to deal with the first two problems. In this paper we first discuss, again under homoskedasticity, how these union tests may be validly bootstrapped using the sieve bootstrap principle combined with either the i.i.d. or wild bootstrap resampling schemes. This serves to highlight the complications that arise when attempting to bootstrap the union tests. We then demonstrate that in the presence of nonstationary volatility the union test statistics have limit distributions which depend on the form of the volatility process, making tests based on the standard asymptotic critical values or, indeed, the i.i.d. bootstrap principle invalid. We show that wild bootstrap union of rejections test are, however, asymptotically valid in the presence of nonstationary volatility. The wild bootstrap union tests therefore allow for a joint treatment of all three of the aforementioned problems.

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