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MIDAS vs. mixed-frequency VAR: Nowcasting GDP in the euro area

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

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Forecasting.

Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 529-542

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Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:27:y::i:2:p:529-542
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  1. Roberto S. Mariano & Yasutomo Murasawa, 2010. "A Coincident Index, Common Factors, and Monthly Real GDP," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(1), pages 27-46, 02.
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  3. Kuzin, Vladimir & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2009. "Pooling versus model selection for nowcasting with many predictors: An application to German GDP," CEPR Discussion Papers 7197, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. Wohlrabe, Klaus, 2009. "Forecasting with mixed-frequency time series models," Munich Dissertations in Economics 9681, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  17. Chevillon, Guillaume & Hendry, David F., 2005. "Non-parametric direct multi-step estimation for forecasting economic processes," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 201-218.
  18. Elena Andreou & Eric Ghysels & Andros Kourtellos, 2007. "Regression Models with Mixed Sampling Frequencies," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 8-2007, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  19. Michael P. Clements & Ana Beatriz Galvao, 2009. "Forecasting US output growth using leading indicators: an appraisal using MIDAS models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(7), pages 1187-1206.
  20. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Musso, Alberto, 2010. "Real time estimates of the euro area output gap: reliability and forecasting performance," Working Paper Series 1157, European Central Bank.
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