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Modelling and Forecasting Fiscal Variables for the euro Area

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  • Favero, Carlo A.
  • Marcellino, Massimiliano

Abstract

In this paper we assess the possibility of producing unbiased forecasts for fiscal variables in the euro area by comparing a set of procedures that rely on different information sets and econometric techniques. In particular, we consider ARMA models, VARs, small scale semi-structural models at the national and euro area level, institutional forecasts (OECD), and pooling. Our small scale models are characterized by the joint modelling of fiscal and monetary policy using simple rules, combined with equations for the evolution of all the relevant fundamentals for the Maastricht Treaty and the Stability and Growth Pact. We rank models on the basis of their forecasting performance using the mean square and mean absolute error criteria at different horizons. Overall, simple time series methods and pooling work well and are able to deliver unbiased forecasts, or slightly upward biased forecast for the debt-GDP dynamics. This result is mostly due to the short sample available, the robustness of simple methods to structural breaks, and to the difficulty of modelling the joint behaviour of several variables in a period of substantial institutional and economic changes. A bootstrap experiment highlights that, even when the data are generated using the estimated small scale multi country model, simple time series models can produce more accurate forecasts, due to their parsimonious specification.

Suggested Citation

  • Favero, Carlo A. & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2005. "Modelling and Forecasting Fiscal Variables for the euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 5294, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5294
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    Cited by:

    1. Teresa Leal & Javier J. Pérez & Mika Tujula & Jean-Pierre Vidal, 2008. "Fiscal Forecasting: Lessons from the Literature and Challenges," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, pages 347-386.
    2. Piotr Ciżkowicz & Andrzej Rzońca & Rafał Trzeciakowski, 2015. "Membership in the Euro area and fiscal sustainability - Analysis through panel fiscal reaction functions," a/ Working Papers Series 1501, Italian Association for the Study of Economic Asymmetries, Rome (Italy).
    3. Henzel, Steffen R. & Mayr, Johannes, 2013. "The mechanics of VAR forecast pooling—A DSGE model based Monte Carlo study," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 1-24.
    4. Paolo Casadio & Antonio Paradiso & B. Bhaskara Rao, 2012. "The dynamics of Italian public debt: alternative paths for fiscal consolidation," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(7), pages 635-639, May.
    5. Piotr Ciżkowicz & Andrzej Rzońca & Rafał Trzeciakowski, 2015. "Windfall of Low Interest Payments and Fiscal Sustainability in the Euro Area: Analysis through Panel Fiscal Reaction Functions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 475-510, November.
    6. repec:eee:intfor:v:33:y:2017:i:3:p:694-706 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kumar, Saten & Paradiso, Antonio, 2011. "Assessing Sustainability of the Irish Public Debt," MPRA Paper 35295, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Massimiliano Marcellino, 2008. "A linear benchmark for forecasting GDP growth and inflation?," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 305-340.
    9. Carriero, Andrea & Mumtaz, Haroon & Theophilopoulou, Angeliki, 2015. "Macroeconomic information, structural change, and the prediction of fiscal aggregates," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 325-348.
    10. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2010. "Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 5-29.
    11. Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2006. "A Simple Benchmark for Forecasts of Growth and Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Hasko, Harri, 2007. "Some unpleasant fiscal arithmetic : the role of monetary and fiscal policy in public debt dynamics since the 1970s," Research Discussion Papers 28/2007, Bank of Finland.
    13. Thomas Flavin & Ekaterini Panopoulou & Theologos Pantelidis, 2009. "Forecasting growth and inflation in an enlarged euro area," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(5), pages 405-425.
    14. Vdovychenko Artem, 2016. "Fiscal Policy Rection and Sustainability of Fiscal Policy in Ukraine," EERC Working Paper Series 16/07e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    15. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2006. "Forecasting of small macroeconomic VARs in the presence of instabilities," Research Working Paper RWP 06-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    16. Fildes, Robert & Wei, Yingqi & Ismail, Suzilah, 2011. "Evaluating the forecasting performance of econometric models of air passenger traffic flows using multiple error measures," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, pages 902-922.
    17. Nicholas Apergis & Arusha Cooray, 2013. "Forecasting fiscal variables: Only a strong growth plan can sustain the Greek austerity programs - Evidence from simultaneous and structural models," CAMA Working Papers 2013-25, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    18. Lees, Kirdan & Matheson, Troy, 2007. "Mind your ps and qs! Improving ARMA forecasts with RBC priors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 275-281, August.
    19. Esposito, Piero & Paradiso, Antonio & Rao, B. Bhaskara, 2011. "The dynamics of French public debt: Paths for fiscal consolidations," MPRA Paper 32564, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Žďárek, Václav, 2017. "Fiscal reaction function and fiscal fatigue: evidence for the euro area," Working Paper Series 2036, European Central Bank.
    21. Mayr, Johannes, 2010. "Forecasting Macroeconomic Aggregates," Munich Dissertations in Economics 11140, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    22. Steffen Henzel & Johannes Mayr, 2009. "The Virtues of VAR Forecast Pooling - A DSGE Model Based Monte Carlo Study," ifo Working Paper Series 65, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    23. Paredes, Joan & Pedregal, Diego J. & Pérez, Javier J., 2014. "Fiscal policy analysis in the euro area: Expanding the toolkit," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 800-823.
    24. Philippe Burger & Krige Siebrits & Estian Calitz, 2015. "The public sector balance sheet and fiscal consolidation in South Africa," Working Papers 11/2015, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    25. Esposito, Piero & Paradiso, Antonio & Rao, B. Bhaskara, 2011. "The dynamics of Spanish public debt and sustainable paths for fiscal consolidation," MPRA Paper 32563, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    euro area; fiscal forecasting; fiscal rules; forecast comparison;

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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