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Data Revisions Are Not Well-Behaved

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  • Aruoba, Boragan

Abstract

We document the empirical properties of revisions to major macroeconomic variables in the United States. Our findings suggest that they do not satisfy simple desirable statistical properties. In particular, we find that these revisions do not have a zero mean, which indicates that the initial announcements by statistical agencies are biased. We also find that the revisions are quite large compared to the original variables and they are predictable using the information set at the time of the initial announcement, which means that the initial announcements of statistical agencies are not rational forecasts. We also provide evidence that professional forecasters ignore this predictability.

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  • Aruoba, Boragan, 2005. "Data Revisions Are Not Well-Behaved," CEPR Discussion Papers 5271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5271
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    forecasting; news and noise; NIPA variables; real-time data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access

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