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The (Un)Reliability of Real-Time Output Gap Estimates with Revised Data

  • Onur Ince
  • David H. Papell

This paper investigates the differences between real-time and ex-post output gap estimates using a newly-constructed international real-time data set over the period from 1973:Q1 to 2012:Q3. We extend the findings in Orphanides and van Norden (2002) for the United States that the use of ex-post information in calculating potential output, not the data revisions themselves, is the major cause of the difference between real-time and ex-post output gap estimates to nine additional OECD countries. The results are robust to the use of linear, quadratic, Hodrick-Prescott, Baxter-King, and Christiano-Fitzgerald detrending methods. By using quasi real-time methods, reliable real-time output gap estimates can be constructed with revised data. Key Words: Output gap, real-time data, data revision, business cycles

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File URL: http://econ.appstate.edu/RePEc/pdf/wp1302.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Appalachian State University in its series Working Papers with number 13-02.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:13-02
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Web page: http://www.business.appstate.edu/departments/economics/

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  1. Anthony Garratt & Kevin Lee & Emi Mise & Kalvinder Shields, 2008. "Real-Time Representations of the Output Gap," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 792-804, November.
  2. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 633-663, April.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Cayen, Jean-Philippe & van Norden, Simon, 2005. "The reliability of Canadian output-gap estimates," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 373-393, December.
  5. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon Van_Norden, 2000. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0768, Econometric Society.
  6. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1999. "The Band pass filter," Working Paper 9906, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    • Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2003. "The Band Pass Filter," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 435-465, 05.
  8. Jens R. Clausen & Carsten-Patrick Meier, 2003. "Did the Bundesbank Follow a Taylor Rule? An Analysis Based on Real-Time Data," IWP Discussion Paper Series 02/2003, Institute for Economic Policy, Cologne, Germany.
  9. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Musso, Alberto, 2010. "The Reliability of Real Time Estimates of the Euro Area Output Gap," CEPR Discussion Papers 7716, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Edward Nelson & Kalin Nikolov, 2001. "UK inflation in the 1970s and 1980s: the role of output gap mismeasurement," Bank of England working papers 148, Bank of England.
  11. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
  12. Kamada, Koichiro, 2004. "Real-Time Estimation of the Output Gap in Japan and its Usefulness for Inflation Forecasting and Policymaking," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,14, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  13. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
  14. Bernhardsen, Tom & Eitrheim, Øyvind & Jore, Anne Sofie & Røisland, Øistein, 2004. "Real-time Data for Norway: Challenges for Monetary Policy," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,26, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  15. Simon van Norden, 1995. "Why Is It So Hard to Measure the Current Output Gap?," Macroeconomics 9506001, EconWPA.
  16. Gerberding, Christina & Seitz, Franz & Worms, Andreas, 2005. "How the Bundesbank really conducted monetary policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 277-292, December.
  17. Mark W. Watson, 2007. "How accurate are real-time estimates of output trends and gaps?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 143-161.
  18. Mise, Emi & Kim, Tae-Hwan & Newbold, Paul, 2005. "On suboptimality of the Hodrick-Prescott filter at time series endpoints," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 53-67, March.
  19. St-Amant, P. & van Norden, S., 1997. "Measurement of the Output Gap: A Discussion of Recent Research at the Bank of Canada," Technical Reports 79, Bank of Canada.
  20. Stark, Tom & Croushore, Dean, 2002. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 507-531, December.
  21. David Gruen & Tim Robinson & Andrew Stone, 2002. "Output Gaps in Real Time: Are They Reliable Enough to Use for Monetary Policy?," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2002-06, Reserve Bank of Australia.
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