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MIDAS vs. mixed-frequency VAR: Nowcasting GDP in the Euro Area

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  • Kuzin, Vladimir
  • Marcellino, Massimiliano
  • Schumacher, Christian

Abstract

This paper compares the mixed-data sampling (MIDAS) and mixed-frequency VAR (MF-VAR) approaches to model specification in the presence of mixed-frequency data, e.g., monthly and quarterly series. MIDAS leads to parsimonious models based on exponential lag polynomials for the coefficients, whereas MF-VAR does not restrict the dynamics and therefore can suffer from the curse of dimensionality. But if the restrictions imposed by MIDAS are too stringent, the MF-VAR can perform better. Hence, it is difficult to rank MIDAS and MF-VAR a priori, and their relative ranking is better evaluated empirically. In this paper, we compare their performance in a relevant case for policy making, i.e., nowcasting and forecasting quarterly GDP growth in the euro area, on a monthly basis and using a set of 20 monthly indicators. It turns out that the two approaches are more complementary than substitutes, since MF-VAR tends to perform better for longer horizons, whereas MIDAS for shorter horizons.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7445.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7445

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Keywords: euro area growth; MIDAS; mixed-frequency data; mixed-frequency VAR; nowcasting;

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References

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  12. Vladimir Kuzin & Massimiliano Marcellino & Christian Schumacher, 2009. "Pooling versus Model Selection for Nowcasting with Many Predictors: An Application to German GDP," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/13, European University Institute.
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  21. Ghysels, Eric & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Valkanov, Rossen, 2004. "The MIDAS Touch: Mixed Data Sampling Regression Models," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt9mf223rs, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
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