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A state space approach to extracting the signal from uncertain data

  • Alastair Cunningham
  • Jana Eklund
  • Christopher Jeffery
  • George Kapetanios
  • Vincent Labhard

Most macroeconomic data are uncertain - they are estimates rather than perfect measures. Use of these uncertain data to form an assessment of current activity can be viewed as a problem of signal extraction. One symptom of that uncertainty is the propensity of statistical agencies to revise their estimates in the light of new information or methodological advances. This paper sets out an approach to extracting the signal from uncertain data that takes the experience of past revisions as representative of the uncertainties surrounding the latest published estimates. Specifically, it describes a two-step estimation procedure in which the history of past revisions (real-time data) are first used to estimate the parameters of a measurement equation describing the official published estimates; and these parameters are then imposed in a maximum likelihood estimation of a state space representation of the 'true' profile of the macroeconomic variable.

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File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/workingpapers/2007/WP336.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 336.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:336
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  1. Howrey, E Philip, 1978. "The Use of Preliminary Data in Econometric Forecasting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 193-200, May.
  2. Donald, Stephen G & Newey, Whitney K, 2001. "Choosing the Number of Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1161-91, September.
  3. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anthony Garratt & Shaun P Vahey, 2006. "UK Real-Time Macro Data Characteristics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(509), pages F119-F135, 02.
  5. Yates, Tony & Richard Harrison & George Kapetanios, 2003. "Forecasting with measurement errors in dynamic models," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 225, Royal Economic Society.
  6. George Kapetanios & Tony Yates, 2004. "Estimating Time-Variation in Measurement Error from Data Revisions: An Application to Forecasting in Dynamic Models," Working Papers 520, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  7. Kevin Lee & Emi Mise & Kalvinder Shields & Tony Garratt, 2005. "Real time Representations of the Output Gap," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 26, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  8. Jacobs, Jan P.A.M. & van Norden, Simon, 2011. "Modeling data revisions: Measurement error and dynamics of "true" values," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 101-109, April.
  9. Jan Jacobs & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2007. "A real-time analysis of the Swiss trade account," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 167, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  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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