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Computationally efficient inference in large Bayesian mixed frequency VARs

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  • Gefang, Deborah
  • Koop, Gary
  • Poon, Aubrey

Abstract

Mixed frequency Vector Autoregressions (MF-VARs) can be used to provide timely and high frequency estimates or nowcasts of variables for which data is available at a low frequency. Bayesian methods are commonly used with MF-VARs to overcome over-parameterization concerns. But Bayesian methods typically rely on computationally demanding Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. In this paper, we develop Variational Bayes (VB) methods for use with MF-VARs using Dirichlet–Laplace global–local shrinkage priors. We show that these methods are accurate and computationally much more efficient than MCMC in two empirical applications involving large MF-VARs.

Suggested Citation

  • Gefang, Deborah & Koop, Gary & Poon, Aubrey, 2020. "Computationally efficient inference in large Bayesian mixed frequency VARs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:191:y:2020:i:c:s0165176520301014
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2020.109120
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    1. David M. Blei & Alp Kucukelbir & Jon D. McAuliffe, 2017. "Variational Inference: A Review for Statisticians," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 112(518), pages 859-877, April.
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    6. Götz, Thomas B. & Hauzenberger, Klemens, 2018. "Large mixed-frequency VARs with a parsimonious time-varying parameter structure," Discussion Papers 40/2018, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    7. Deborah Gefang & Gary Koop & Aubrey Poon, 2019. "Variational Bayesian inference in large Vector Autoregressions with hierarchical shrinkage," CAMA Working Papers 2019-08, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    8. Scott Brave & R. Andrew Butters & Alejandro Justiniano, 2016. "Forecasting Economic Activity with Mixed Frequency Bayesian VARs," Working Paper Series WP-2016-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. Korobilis, Dimitris & Koop, Gary, 2018. "Variational Bayes inference in high-dimensional time-varying parameter models," Essex Finance Centre Working Papers 22665, University of Essex, Essex Business School.
    10. Gary Koop & Stuart McIntyre & James Mitchell & Aubrey Poon, 2018. "Regional Output Growth in the United Kingdom: More Timely and Higher Frequency Estimates, 1970-2017," Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers ESCoE DP-2018-14, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE).
    11. Anirban Bhattacharya & Debdeep Pati & Natesh S. Pillai & David B. Dunson, 2015. "Dirichlet--Laplace Priors for Optimal Shrinkage," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 110(512), pages 1479-1490, December.
    12. Bjørn Eraker & Ching Wai (Jeremy) Chiu & Andrew T. Foerster & Tae Bong Kim & Hernán D. Seoane, 2015. "Bayesian Mixed Frequency VARs," The Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 13(3), pages 698-721.
    13. Gary Koop & Stuart McIntyre & James Mitchell & Aubrey Poon, 2020. "Regional output growth in the United Kingdom: More timely and higher frequency estimates from 1970," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(2), pages 176-197, March.
    14. Ghysels, Eric, 2016. "Macroeconomics and the reality of mixed frequency data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 193(2), pages 294-314.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Carriero & Todd E. Clark & Marcellino Massimiliano, 2020. "Nowcasting Tail Risks to Economic Activity with Many Indicators," Working Papers 20-13R2, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 22 Sep 2020.
    2. Lehmann, Robert & Wikman, Ida, 2022. "Quarterly GDP Estimates for the German States," MPRA Paper 112642, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Gary Koop & Stuart McIntyre & James Mitchell & Aubrey Poon & Ping Wu, 2023. "Incorporating Short Data into Large Mixed-Frequency VARs for Regional Nowcasting," Working Papers 2311, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    4. Martin Feldkircher & Florian Huber & Michael Pfarrhofer, 2021. "Measuring the effectiveness of US monetary policy during the COVID‐19 recession," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 68(3), pages 287-297, July.
    5. Deborah Gefang & Stephen G. Hall & George S. Tavlas, 2022. "Fast Two-Stage Variational Bayesian Approach to Estimating Panel Spatial Autoregressive Models with Unrestricted Spatial Weights Matrices," Papers 2205.15420, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2023.
    6. Luca Barbaglia & Lorenzo Frattarolo & Niko Hauzenberger & Dominik Hirschbuehl & Florian Huber & Luca Onorante & Michael Pfarrhofer & Luca Tiozzo Pezzoli, 2024. "Nowcasting economic activity in European regions using a mixed-frequency dynamic factor model," Papers 2401.10054, arXiv.org.
    7. Blagov, Boris & Müller, Henrik & Jentsch, Carsten & Schmidt, Torsten, 2021. "The investment narrative: Improving private investment forecasts with media data," Ruhr Economic Papers 921, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    8. Alain Hecq & Marie Ternes & Ines Wilms, 2021. "Hierarchical Regularizers for Mixed-Frequency Vector Autoregressions," Papers 2102.11780, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2022.
    9. Deborah Gefang & Stephen G. Hall & George S. Tavlas, 2023. "Identifying spatial interdependence in panel data with large N and small T," Papers 2309.03740, arXiv.org.
    10. Robert Lehmann, 2023. "READ-GER: Introducing German Real-Time Regional Accounts Data for Revision Analysis and Nowcasting," CESifo Working Paper Series 10315, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mixed frequency; Variational inference; Vector autoregression; Stochastic volatility; Hierarchical prior; Forecasting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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