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Instability and Non-Linearity in the EMU

  • Marcellino, Massimiliano

In this Paper we evaluate the relative performance of linear, non-linear and time-varying models for about 500 macroeconomic variables for the countries in the Euro area, using a real-time forecasting methodology. It turns out that linear models work well for about 35% of the series under analysis, time-varying models for another 35% and non-linear models for the remaining 30% of the series. The gains in forecasting accuracy from the choice of the best model can be substantial, in particular for longer forecast horizons. These results emerge from a detailed disaggregated analysis, while they are hidden when an average loss function is used. To explore in more detail the issue of parameter instability, we then apply a battery of tests, detecting non-constancy in about 20-30% of the time series. For these variables the forecasting performance of the time-varying and non-linear models further improves, with larger gains for a larger fraction of the series. Finally, we evaluate whether non-linear models perform better for three key macroeconomic variables: industrial production, inflation and unemployment. It turns out that this is often the case. Hence, overall, our results indicate that there is a substantial amount of instability and non-linearity in the EMU, and suggest that it can be worth going beyond linear models for several EMU macroeconomic variables.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3312.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3312
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  1. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Evidence on Structural Instability in Macroeconomic Time Series Relations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(1), pages 11-30, January.
  2. Stock, James H, 1996. "VAR, Error Correction and Pretest Forecasts at Long Horizons," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(4), pages 685-701, November.
  3. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  4. Ploberger, Werner & Kramer, Walter, 1992. "The CUSUM Test with OLS Residuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 271-85, March.
  5. Francis X. Diebold & Lutz Kilian, 1999. "Unit Root Tests Are Useful for Selecting Forecasting Models," NBER Working Papers 6928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
  7. Clements, Michael P & Hendry, David F, 1996. "Multi-step Estimation for Forecasting," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(4), pages 657-84, November.
  8. Norman R. Swanson & Halbert White, 1997. "A Model Selection Approach To Real-Time Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Linear Models And Artificial Neural Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 540-550, November.
  9. Michael P. Clements & David F. Hendry, 2001. "Forecasting Non-Stationary Economic Time Series," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262531895, June.
  10. Artis, Michael J & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 1999. "Fiscal Forecasting: the Track Record of the IMF, OECD, and EC," CEPR Discussion Papers 2206, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Hansen, Bruce E, 2002. "Tests for Parameter Instability in Regressions with I(1) Processes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 45-59, January.
  12. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2003. "Macroeconomic forecasting in the Euro area: Country specific versus area-wide information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-18, February.
  13. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "A Comparison of Linear and Nonlinear Univariate Models for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 6607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521634809 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Meese, Richard & Geweke, John, 1984. "A Comparison of Autoregressive Univariate Forecasting Procedures for Macroeconomic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(3), pages 191-200, July.
  16. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-94, September.
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