Illustrating the Implicit BIC Prior

9 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2013

Date Written: June 28, 2013


I show how to find the uniform prior implicit in using the Bayesian Information Criterion to consider a hypothesis about a single normally distributed parameter. The ratio of the width of the implicit prior to the standard deviation of the parameter estimate is sqrt(2*pi*n) for large samples.

Keywords: Bayesian Information Criterion, BIC, priors

JEL Classification: C11

Suggested Citation

Startz, Richard, Illustrating the Implicit BIC Prior (June 28, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Richard Startz (Contact Author)

UCSB ( email )

Department of Economics
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9210
United States
805-893-2895 (Phone)

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