The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper reviews recent advances in the specification and estimation of Bayesian Vector Autoregressive models (BVARs). After describing the Bayesian principle of estimation, we first present the methodology originally developed by Litterman (1986) and Doan et al. (1984) and review alternative priors. We then discuss extensions of the basic model and address issues in forecasting and structural analysis. An application to the estimation of a system of time-varying reaction functions for four European central banks under the European Monetary System (EMS) illustrates how some of the results previously presented may be applied in practice.