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MIDAS vs. mixed-frequency VAR: Nowcasting GDP in the Euro Area

  • Kuzin, Vladimir
  • Marcellino, Massimiliano
  • Schumacher, Christian

This paper compares the mixed-data sampling (MIDAS) and mixed-frequency VAR (MF-VAR) approaches to model specification in the presence of mixed-frequency data, e.g., monthly and quarterly series. MIDAS leads to parsimonious models based on exponential lag polynomials for the coefficients, whereas MF-VAR does not restrict the dynamics and therefore can suffer from the curse of dimensionality. But if the restrictions imposed by MIDAS are too stringent, the MF-VAR can perform better. Hence, it is difficult to rank MIDAS and MF-VAR a priori, and their relative ranking is better evaluated empirically. In this paper, we compare their performance in a relevant case for policy making, i.e., nowcasting and forecasting quarterly GDP growth in the euro area, on a monthly basis and using a set of 20 monthly indicators. It turns out that the two approaches are more complementary than substitutes, since MF-VAR tends to perform better for longer horizons, whereas MIDAS for shorter horizons.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7445.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7445
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  1. Eric Ghysels & Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2004. "The MIDAS Touch: Mixed Data Sampling Regression Models," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-20, CIRANO.
  2. Kuzin, Vladimir N. & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2009. "Pooling versus model selection for nowcasting with many predictors: an application to German GDP," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,03, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Michael P. Clements & Ana Beatriz Galvao, 2009. "Forecasting US output growth using leading indicators: an appraisal using MIDAS models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(7), pages 1187-1206.
  4. Eric Ghysels & Arthur Sinko & Rossen Valkanov, 2007. "MIDAS Regressions: Further Results and New Directions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1), pages 53-90.
  5. David Hendry & Guillaume Chevillon, 2004. "Non-Parametric Direct Multi-step Estimation for Forecasting Economic Processes," Economics Series Working Papers 196, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Elena Andreou & Eric Ghysels & Andros Kourtellos, 2013. "Should Macroeconomic Forecasters Use Daily Financial Data and How?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 240-251, April.
  7. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2005. "A Comparison of Direct and Iterated Multistep AR Methods for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," CEPR Discussion Papers 4976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2008. "Nowcasting: The real-time informational content of macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 665-676, May.
  9. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 8379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Forecast Combinations," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  11. Roberto S. Mariano & Yasutomo Murasawa, 2010. "A Coincident Index, Common Factors, and Monthly Real GDP," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(1), pages 27-46, 02.
  12. Ghysels, Eric & Santa-Clara, Pedro & Valkanov, Rossen, 2004. "The MIDAS Touch: Mixed Data Sampling Regression Models," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt9mf223rs, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  13. Eric Ghysels & Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2004. "Predicting Volatility: Getting the Most out of Return Data Sampled at Different Frequencies," NBER Working Papers 10914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Eric Ghysels & Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2004. "There is a Risk-Return Tradeoff After All," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-24, CIRANO.
  15. Stefan Mittnik & Peter A. Zadrozny, 2004. "Forecasting Quarterly German GDP at Monthly Intervals Using Monthly IFO Business Conditions Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 1203, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino & Igor Masten, 2003. "Leading Indicators for Euro-area Inflation and GDP Growth," Working Papers 235, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  17. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Musso, Alberto, 2010. "Real time estimates of the euro area output gap: reliability and forecasting performance," Working Paper Series 1157, European Central Bank.
  18. Wohlrabe, Klaus, 2009. "Forecasting with mixed-frequency time series models," Munich Dissertations in Economics 9681, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  19. Schumacher, Christian & Breitung, Jörg, 2008. "Real-time forecasting of German GDP based on a large factor model with monthly and quarterly data," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 386-398.
  20. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & David Small, 2008. "Nowcasting: the real time informational content of macroeconomic data releases," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6409, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  21. Andreou, Elena & Ghysels, Eric & Kourtellos, Andros, 2010. "Regression models with mixed sampling frequencies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 158(2), pages 246-261, October.
  22. Roberto S. Mariano & Yasutomo Murasawa, 2003. "A new coincident index of business cycles based on monthly and quarterly series," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 427-443.
  23. Ghysels, Eric & Wright, Jonathan H., 2009. "Forecasting Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 504-516.
  24. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Schumacher, Christian, 2007. "Factor-MIDAS for now- and forecasting with ragged-edge data: a model comparison for German GDP," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2007,34, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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