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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 which are based on exponential lag polynomials for the coefficients, whereas MF-VAR does not restrict the dynamics and can therefore suffer from the curse of dimensionality. However, 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 rankings are better evaluated empirically. In this paper, we compare their performances in a case which is relevant for policy making, namely nowcasting and forecasting quarterly GDP growth in the euro area on a monthly basis, using a set of about 20 monthly indicators. It turns out that the two approaches are more complements than substitutes, since MIDAS tends to perform better for horizons up to four to five months, whereas MF-VAR performs better for longer horizons, up to nine months.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuzin, Vladimir & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2011. "MIDAS vs. mixed-frequency VAR: Nowcasting GDP in the euro area," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 529-542.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:27:y:2011:i:2:p:529-542
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2010.02.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nowcasting; Mixed-frequency data; Mixed-frequency VAR; MIDAS;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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