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A Convergent t-statistic in Spurious Regressions

Abstract

This paper proposes a convergent t-statistic for spurious regressions. The new t-statistic is based on the heteroscedasiticity and autocorrelation consistent (HAC) standard error estimate with the bandwidth equal to the sample size. Using autocovariances of all lags, the so-defined HAC estimator is capable of capturing the high persistence of the regressor and regression residuals. It is shown that the new t-statistic converges to a non-degenerate limiting distribution for all cases of spurious regressions considered in the literature. This finding suggests that inferences based on the new t-statistic and asymptotic theory developed in this paper will not result in the finding of a significant relationship that does not actually exist.

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