**Abstract: **The Heckman sample selection model relies on the assumption of normal and homoskedastic disturbances. However, before considering more general, alternative semiparametric models that do not need the normality assumption, it seems useful to test this assumption. Following Meijer and Wansbeek (2007), the present contribution derives a GMM-based pseudo-score LM test on whether the third and fourth moments of the disturbances of the outcome equation of the Heckman model conform to those implied by the truncated normal distribution. The test is easy to calculate and in Monte Carlo simulations it shows good performance for sample sizes of 1000 or larger.

**Abstract: **The three most popular univariate conditional volatility models are the generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH) model of Engle (1982) and Bollerslev (1986), the GJR (or threshold GARCH) model of Glosten, Jagannathan and Runkle (1992), and the exponential GARCH (or EGARCH) model of Nelson (1990, 1991). The underlying stochastic specification to obtain GARCH was demonstrated by Tsay (1987), and that of EGARCH was shown recently in McAleer and Hafner (2014). These models are important in estimating and forecasting volatility, as well as in capturing asymmetry, which is the different effects on conditional volatility of positive and negative effects of equal magnitude, and purportedly in capturing leverage, which is the negative correlation between returns shocks and subsequent shocks to volatility. As there seems to be some confusion in the literature between asymmetry and leverage, as well as which asymmetric models are purported to be able to capture leverage, the purpose of the paper is three-fold, namely, (1) to derive the GJR model from a random coefficient autoregressive process, with appropriate regularity conditions; (2) to show that leverage is not possible in the GJR and EGARCH models; and (3) to present the interpretation of the parameters of the three popular univariate conditional volatility models in a unified manner.

**Abstract: **This paper discusses two alternative two-part models for fractional response variables that are defined as ratios of integers. The first two-part model assumes a Binomial distribution and known group size. It nests the one-part fractional response model proposed by Papke and Wooldridge (1996) and, thus, allows one to apply Wald, LM and/or LR tests in order to discriminate between the two models. The second model extends the first one by allowing for overdispersion in the data. We demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed two-part models for data on the 401(k) pension plan participation rates used in Papke and Wooldridge (1996).

**Abstract: **A fast method is developed for value-at-risk and expected shortfall prediction for univariate asset return time series exhibiting leptokurtosis, asymmetry and conditional heteroskedasticity. It is based on a GARCH-type process driven by noncentral *t* innovations. While the method involves the use of several shortcuts for speed, it performs admirably in terms of accuracy and actually outperforms highly competitive models. Most remarkably, this is the case also for sample sizes as small as 250.

**Abstract: **One of the most popular univariate asymmetric conditional volatility models is the exponential GARCH (or EGARCH) specification. In addition to asymmetry, which captures the different effects on conditional volatility of positive and negative effects of equal magnitude, EGARCH can also accommodate leverage, which is the negative correlation between returns shocks and subsequent shocks to volatility. However, the statistical properties of the (quasi-) maximum likelihood estimator of the EGARCH parameters are not available under general conditions, but rather only for special cases under highly restrictive and unverifiable conditions. It is often argued heuristically that the reason for the lack of general statistical properties arises from the presence in the model of an absolute value of a function of the parameters, which does not permit analytical derivatives, and hence does not permit (quasi-) maximum likelihood estimation. It is shown in this paper for the non-leverage case that: (1) the EGARCH model can be derived from a random coefficient complex nonlinear moving average (RCCNMA) process; and (2) the reason for the lack of statistical properties of the estimators of EGARCH under general conditions is that the stationarity and invertibility conditions for the RCCNMA process are not known.

**Abstract: **Credible Granger-causality analysis appears to require post-sample inference, as it is well-known that in-sample fit can be a poor guide to actual forecasting effectiveness. However, post-sample model testing requires an often-consequential *a priori* partitioning of the data into an “in-sample” period – purportedly utilized only for model specification/estimation – and a “post-sample” period, purportedly utilized (only at the end of the analysis) for model validation/testing purposes. This partitioning is usually infeasible, however, with samples of modest length – e.g., T ≤ 150 – as is common in both quarterly data sets and/or in monthly data sets where institutional arrangements vary over time, simply because there is in such cases insufficient data available to credibly accomplish both purposes separately. A cross-sample validation (CSV) testing procedure is proposed below which both eliminates the aforementioned *a priori* partitioning and which also substantially ameliorates this power versus credibility predicament – preserving most of the power of in-sample testing (by utilizing all of the sample data in the test), while also retaining most of the credibility of post-sample testing (by always basing model forecasts on data not utilized in estimating that particular model’s coefficients). Simulations show that the price paid, in terms of power relative to the in-sample Granger-causality F test, is manageable. An illustrative application is given, to a re-analysis of the Engel andWest [1] study of the causal relationship between macroeconomic fundamentals and the exchange rate; several of their conclusions are changed by our analysis.