Testing Linearity in Cointegrating Relations with an Application to Purchasing Power Parity

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Discussion Paper

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This paper develops a linearity test that can be applied to cointegrating relations. We consider the widely used RESET specification test and show that when this test is applied to nonstationary time series its asymptotic distribution involves a mixture of noncentral chi-squared distributions, which leads to severe size distortions in conventional testing based on the central chi-squared. Nonstationarity is shown to introduce two bias terms in the limit distribution, which are the source of the size distortion in testing. Appropriate corrections for this asymptotic bias leads to a modified version of the RESET test which has a central chi-squared limit distribution under linearity. The modified test has power not only against nonlinear cointegration but also against the absence of cointegration. Simulation results reveal that the modified test has good size infinite samples and reasonable power against many nonlinear models as well as models with no cointegration, confirming the analytic results. In an empirical illustration, the linear purchasing power parity (PPP) specification is tested using US, Japan, and Canada monthly data after Bretton Woods. While commonly used ADF and PP cointegration tests give mixed results on the presence of linear cointegration in the series, the modified test rejects the null of linear PPP cointegration.

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