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Bayesian Comparison of Econometric Models

Working Paper 532 | Published July 1, 1994

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Bayesian Comparison of Econometric Models


This paper integrates and extends some recent computational advances in Bayesian inference with the objective of more fully realizing the Bayesian promise of coherent inference and model comparison in economics. It combines Markov chain Monte Carlo and independence Monte Carlo with importance sampling to provide an efficient and generic method for updating posterior distributions. It exploits the multiplicative decomposition of marginalized likelihood into predictive factors, to compute posterior odds ratios efficiently and with minimal further investment in software. It argues for the use of predictive odds ratios in model comparison in economics. Finally, it suggests procedures for public reporting that will enable remote clients to conveniently modify priors, form posterior expectations of their own functions of interest, and update the posterior distribution with new observations. A series of examples explores the practicality and efficiency of these methods.