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Macroeconomic and credit forecasts during the Greek crisis using Bayesian VARs

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  • Dimitrios P. Louzis

    (Bank of Greece)

Abstract

We investigate the ability of small- and medium-scale Bayesian VARs (BVARs) to produce accurate macroeconomic (output and inflation) and credit (loans and lending rate) out-of-sample forecasts during the latest Greek crisis. We implement recently proposed Bayesian shrinkage techniques based on Bayesian hierarchical modeling, and we evaluate the information content of forty-two (42) monthly macroeconomic and financial variables in terms of point and density forecasting. Alternative competing models employed in the study include Bayesian autoregressions (BARs) and time-varying parameter VARs with stochastic volatility, among others. The empirical results reveal that, overall, medium-scale BVARs enriched with economy-wide variables can considerably and consistently improve short-term inflation forecasts. The information content of financial variables, on the other hand, proves to be beneficial for the lending rate density forecasts across forecasting horizons. Both of the above-mentioned results are robust to alternative specification choices, while for the rest of the variables smaller-scale BVARs, or even univariate BARs, produce superior forecasts. Finally, we find that the popular, data-driven, shrinkage methods produce, on average, inferior forecasts compared to the theoretically grounded method considered here.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitrios P. Louzis, 2017. "Macroeconomic and credit forecasts during the Greek crisis using Bayesian VARs," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 569-598, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1128-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s00181-016-1128-y
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Forecasting; Bayesian VARs; Crisis; Financial variables;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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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