Abstract

A Bayesian model averaging approach to the estimation of lag structures is introduced and applied to assess the impact of (R&D) on agricultural productivity in the United States from 1889 to 1990. Lag and structural break coefficients are estimated using a reversible jump algorithm that traverses the model space. In addition to producing estimates and standard deviations for the coefficients, the probability that a given lag (or break) enters the model is estimated. The approach is extended to select models populated with gamma distributed lags of different frequencies. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that R&D positively drives productivity. Gamma lags are found to retain their usefulness in imposing a plausible structure on lag coefficients, and their role is enhanced through the use of model averaging.

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