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Empirical modelling of survey-based expectations for the design of economic indicators in five European regions

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  • Oscar Claveria

    () (University of Barcelona)

  • Enric Monte

    () (Polytechnic University of Catalunya)

  • Salvador Torra

    () (University of Barcelona)

Abstract

In this study we use agents’ expectations about the state of the economy to generate indicators of economic activity in twenty-six European countries grouped in five regions (Western, Eastern, and Southern Europe, and Baltic and Scandinavian countries). We apply a data-driven procedure based on evolutionary computation to transform survey variables in economic growth rates. In a first step, we design five independent experiments to derive a formula using survey variables that best replicates the evolution of economic growth in each region by means of genetic programming, limiting the integration schemes to the main mathematical operations. We then rank survey variables according to their performance in tracking economic activity, finding that agents’ “perception about the overall economy compared to last year” is the survey variable with the highest predictive power. In a second step, we assess the out-of-sample forecast accuracy of the evolved indicators. Although we obtain different results across regions, Austria, Slovakia, Portugal, Lithuania and Sweden are the economies of each region that show the best forecast results. We also find evidence that the forecasting performance of the survey-based indicators improves during periods of higher growth.

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  • Oscar Claveria & Enric Monte & Salvador Torra, 2019. "Empirical modelling of survey-based expectations for the design of economic indicators in five European regions," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 205-227, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:empiri:v:46:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10663-017-9395-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s10663-017-9395-1
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    2. Sorić, Petar & Lolić, Ivana & Claveria, Oscar & Monte, Enric & Torra, Salvador, 2019. "Unemployment expectations: A socio-demographic analysis of the effect of news," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 64-74.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic indicators; Qualitative survey data; Expectations; Symbolic regression; Evolutionary algorithms; Genetic programming;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C55 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Large Data Sets: Modeling and Analysis
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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