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Data Revisions Are Not Well Behaved

  • S. BORAGAN ARUOBA

We document the empirical properties of revisions to major macroeconomic variables in the United States. Our findings suggest that they do not satisfy simple desirable statistical properties. In particular, we find that these revisions do not have a zero mean, which indicates that the initial announcements by statistical agencies are biased. We also find that the revisions are quite large compared to the original variables and they are predictable using the information set at the time of the initial announcement, which means that the initial announcements of statistical agencies are not rational forecasts. Copyright (c)2008 The Ohio State University.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1538-4616.2008.00115.x
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Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 40 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (03)
Pages: 319-340

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Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:40:y:2008:i:2-3:p:319-340
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 1995. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 253-63, July.
  2. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for marcoeconomists: does the data vintage matter?," Working Papers 99-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. William Conrad & Carol Corrado, 1978. "Applications of the Kalman filter to revisions in monthly retail sales estimates," Special Studies Papers 125, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 99-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  7. Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H & Wright, Jonathan H, 2005. "News and Noise in G-7 GDP Announcements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 403-19, June.
  8. Knut Anton Mork, 1990. "Forecastable Money-Growth Revisions: A Closer Look at the Data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 593-616, August.
  9. Mork, Knut Anton, 1987. "Ain't Behavin': Forecast Errors and Measurement Errors in Early GNP Estimates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(2), pages 165-75, April.
  10. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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