May 23rd, 2018 by Stephan Smeekes
SPECS: An automated approach towards sparse single-equation cointegration modelling
Stephan Smeekes and Etienne Wijler
In this paper we propose the Single-equation Penalized Error Correction Selector (SPECS) as an automated estimation procedure for dynamic single-equation models with a large number of potentially (co)integrated variables. By extending the classical single-equation error correction model, SPECS enables the researcher to model large cointegrated datasets without necessitating any form of pre-testing for the order of integration or cointegrating rank. We show that SPECS is able to consistently estimate an appropriate linear combination of the cointegrating vectors that may occur in the underlying DGP, while simultaneously enabling the correct recovery of sparsity patterns in the corresponding parameter space. A simulation study shows strong selective capabilities, as well as superior predictive performance in the context of nowcasting compared to high-dimensional models that ignore cointegration. An empirical application to nowcasting Dutch unemployment rates using Google Trends confirms the strong practical performance of our procedure.