This paper focuses on finding starting-values for the estimation of Vector STAR models. Based on a Monte Carlo study, different procedures are evaluated. Their performance is assessed with respect to model fit and computational effort. I employ (i) grid search algorithms and (ii) heuristic optimization procedures, namely differential evolution, threshold accepting, and simulated annealing. In the equation-by-equation starting-value search approach the procedures achieve equally good results. Unless the errors are cross-correlated, equation-by-equation search followed by a derivative-based algorithm can handle such an optimization problem sufficiently well. This result holds also for higher-dimensional Vector STAR models with a slight edge for heuristic methods. For more complex Vector STAR models which require a multivariate search approach, simulated annealing and differential evolution outperform threshold accepting and the grid search.


Vector STAR model; starting-values; optimization heuristics; grid search; estimation; non-linearieties