Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


Working Paper Number

WP #03018


We propose tests for hypotheses on the parameters of the deterministic trend function of a univariate time series. The tests do not require knowledge of the form of serial correlation in the data, and they are robust to strong serial correlation. The data can contain a unit root and still have the correct size asymptotically. The tests that we analyze are standard heteroscedasticity autocorrelation robust tests based on nonparametric kernel variance estimators. We analyze these tests using the fixed-b asymptotic framework recently proposed by Kiefer and Vogelsang. This analysis allows us to analyze the power properties of the tests with regard to bandwidth and kernel choices. Our analysis shows that among popular kernels, specific kernel and bandwidth choices deliver tests with maximal power within a specific class of tests. Based on the theoretical results, we propose a data-dependent bandwidth rule that maximizes integrated power. Our recommended test is shown to have power that dominates a related test proposed by Vogelsang. We apply the recommended test to the logarithm of a net barter terms of trade series and we find that this series has a statistically significant negative slope. This finding is consistent with the well-known Prebisch–Singer hypothesis.

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