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  • Palmen, Olli (2020)
    Did sovereign default risk affect macroeconomic activity through firms' access to credit during the European sovereign debt crisis? We investigate this question by a estimating a structural panel vector autoregressive model for Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, where the sovereign risk shock is identified using sign restrictions. The results suggest that the decline in the creditworthiness of the sovereign contributed to a fall in private lending and economic activity in several euro-area countries by reducing the value of banks' assets and crowding out private lending. (C) 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Lange, Alexander; Dalheimer, Bernhard; Herwartz, Helmut; Maxand, Simone (2021)
    Structural vector autoregressive (SVAR) models are frequently applied to trace the contemporaneous linkages among (macroeconomic) variables back to an interplay of orthogonal structural shocks. Under Gaussianity the structural parameters are unidentified without additional (often external and not data-based) information. In contrast, the often reasonable assumption of heteroskedastic and/or non-Gaussian model disturbances offers the possibility to identify unique structural shocks. We describe the R package svars which implements statistical identification techniques that can be both heteroskedasticity-based or independence-based. Moreover, it includes a rich variety of analysis tools that are well known in the SVAR literature. Next to a comprehensive review of the theoretical background, we provide a detailed description of the associated R functions. Furthermore, a macroeconomic application serves as a step-by-step guide on how to apply these functions to the identification and interpretation of structural VAR models.