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Assessment criteria for output gap estimates

  • Camba-Méndez, Gonzalo
  • Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego
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    This paper assesses the statistical reliability of different measures of the output gap for the Euro-11 area and the US using output, inflation and unemployment systems. In order to assess the reliability of an output gap estimate two criteria are adopted. Firstly, the estimate should have forecasting power over inflation. Secondly, the ex post statistical revisions of the output gap should not differ significantly from previously computed measures. As an additional check on reliability, we find out whether the estimate of the output gap is positively correlated with standard measures of capacity utilization. We find that under our multivariate specification, unobservable components (UC) type models of the output gap show temporal consistency between sequential and final estimates and are consistent with known cyclical indicators. On the other hand, our UC models for the output gap have limited forecasting power for inflation, since they underperform an arbitrary autoregressive model. JEL Classification: C32, E32, E37

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    Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0054.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20010054
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    1. Pesaran, M.H. & Timmermann, A., 1990. "A Simple, Non-Parametric Test Of Predictive Performance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9021, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Apel, Mikael & Jansson, Per, 1998. "A Theory-Consistent System Approach for Estimating Potential Output and the NAIRU," Working Paper Series 74, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    3. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jerome & Mestre, Ricardo, 2005. "An area-wide model for the euro area," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 39-59, January.
    4. Danny Quah & Danny Quah & Shaun P. Vahey, 1995. "Measuring Core Inflation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0254, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
    6. Laurence Ball, 1997. "Efficient rules for monetary policy," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G97/3, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    7. Peter Rupert & Martin Schindler & Andrei Shevchenko & Randall Wright, 2000. "The search-theoretic approach to monetary economics: a primer," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q IV, pages 10-28.
    8. Gerlach, Stefan & Smets, Frank, 1999. "Output gaps and monetary policy in the EMU area1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 801-812, April.
    9. Kuttner, Kenneth N, 1994. "Estimating Potential Output as a Latent Variable," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 361-68, July.
    10. Bullard, James & Keating, John W., 1995. "The long-run relationship between inflation and output in postwar economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 477-496, December.
    11. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1999. "Forecasting Inflation," NBER Working Papers 7023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Quah, Danny, 1995. "Measuring Core Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1153, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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