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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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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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  1. Jens Richard Clausen & Carsten-Patrick Meier, 2005. "Did the Bundesbank Follow a Taylor Rule? An Analysis Based on Real-Time Data," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(II), pages 213-246, June.
  2. Tom Stark & Dean Croushore, 2001. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 01-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. Cayen, Jean-Philippe & van Norden, Simon, 2004. "The reliability of Canadian output gap estimates," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,29, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2002. "The Unreliability of Output-Gap Estimates in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 569-583, November.
  5. 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.
  6. Anthony Garratt & Kevin Lee & Emi Mise & Kalvinder Shields, 2006. "Real Time Representations of the Output Gap," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0619, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  7. 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.
  8. Christina Gerberding & Franz Seitz & Andreas Worms, 2005. "How the Bundesbank really conducted monetary policy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 60, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1999. "The Band Pass Filter," NBER Working Papers 7257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • 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.
  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. 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.
  12. Kamada, Koichiro, 2005. "Real-time estimation of the output gap in Japan and its usefulness for inflation forecasting and policymaking," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-332, December.
  13. Simon van Norden, 1995. "Why Is It So Hard to Measure the Current Output Gap?," Macroeconomics 9506001, EconWPA.
  14. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 1999. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Working Papers 99-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. Massimiliano Marcellino & Alberto Musso, 2010. "the Reliability of Real Time Estimates of the EURO Area Output Gap," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/06, European University Institute.
  16. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 633-663, April.
  20. 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.
  21. Bernhardsen, Tom & Eitrheim, Oyvind & Jore, Anne Sofie & Roisland, Oistein, 2005. "Real-time data for Norway: Challenges for monetary policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 333-349, December.
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