Benchmark Priors Revisited: On Adaptive Shrinkage and the Supermodel Effect in Bayesian Model Averaging
  • 1, International Monetary Fund
Default prior choices fixing Zellner's g are predominant in the Bayesian Model Averaging literature, but tend to concentrate posterior mass on a tiny set of models. The paper demonstrates this supermodel effect and proposes to address it by a hyper-g prior, whose data-dependent shrinkage adapts posterior model distributions to data quality. Analytically, existing work on the hyper-g-prior is complemented by posterior expressions essential to fully Bayesian analysis and to sound numerical implementation. A simulation experiment illustrates the implications for posterior inference. Furthermore, an application to determinants of economic growth identifies several covariates whose robustness differs considerably from previous results.
IMF Working Papers

dimension badge: