December 1996

Theoretical Confidence Level Problems with Confidence Intervals for the Spectrum of a Time Series

Jon Faust


Textbook approaches to forming asymptotically justified confidence intervals for the spectrum under very general assumptions were developed by the mid-1970s. This paper shows that under the textbook assumptions, the true confidence level for these intervals does not converge to the asymptotic level, and instead is fixed at zero in all sample sizes. The paper explores necessary conditions for solving this problem, most notably showing that under weak conditions, forming valid confidence intervals requires that one limit consideration to a finite-dimensional time series model.

Full paper (256 KB Postscript)

PDF: Full Paper

Disclaimer: The economic research that is linked from this page represents the views of the authors and does not indicate concurrence either by other members of the Board's staff or by the Board of Governors. The economic research and their conclusions are often preliminary and are circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. The Board values having a staff that conducts research on a wide range of economic topics and that explores a diverse array of perspectives on those topics. The resulting conversations in academia, the economic policy community, and the broader public are important to sharpening our collective thinking.

Back to Top
Last Update: February 19, 2021