We consider the problem of testing whether the observations X1, · · ·, Xn of a time series are independent with unspecified (possibly nonidentical) distributions symmetric about a common known median. Various bounds on the distributions of serial correlation coefficients are proposed: exponential bounds, Eaton-type bounds, Chebyshev bounds and Berry-Esséen-Zolotarev bounds. The bounds are exact in finite samples, distribution-free and easy to compute. The performance of the bounds is evaluated and compared with traditional serial dependence tests in a simulation experiment. The procedures proposed are applied to U.S. data on interest rates (commercial paper rate).

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