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

  • Vladimir Kuzin
  • Massimiliano Marcellino
  • Christian Schumacher

This paper compares the mixed-data sampling (MIDAS) and mixed-frequency VAR (MF-VAR) approaches to model speci.cation 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 coe¢ cients, whereas MF-VAR does not restrict the dynamics and therefore can su¤er from the curse of dimensionality. But if the restrictions imposed by MIDAS are too stringent, the MF-VAR can perform better. Hence, it is di¢ cult 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 European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2009/32.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2009/32
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  1. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & David H Small, 2007. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real-Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 164, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
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  3. Eric Ghysels & Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2004. "There is a Risk-Return Tradeoff After All," NBER Working Papers 10913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 8379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Wohlrabe, Klaus, 2009. "Forecasting with mixed-frequency time series models," Munich Dissertations in Economics 9681, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Guillaume Chevillon & David F. Hendry, 2004. "Non-Parametric Direct Multi-step Estimation for Forecasting Economic Processes," Economics Papers 2004-W12, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  13. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "A comparison of direct and iterated multistep AR methods for forecasting macroeconomic time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 499-526.
  14. Eric Ghysels & Andros Kourtellos & Elena Andreou, 2012. "Should macroeconomic forecasters use daily financial data and how?," 2012 Meeting Papers 1196, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Andreou, Elena & Ghysels, Eric & Kourtellos, Andros, 2010. "Regression models with mixed sampling frequencies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 158(2), pages 246-261, October.
  16. Vladimir Kuzin & Massimiliano Marcellino & Christian Schumacher, 2009. "Pooling versus Model Selection for Nowcasting with Many Predictors: An Application to German GDP," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/13, European University Institute.
  17. Anindya Banerjee & Massimiliano Marcellino & Igor Masten, 2005. "Leading Indicators for Euro-area Inflation and GDP Growth," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(s1), pages 785-813, December.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Eric Ghysels & Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2004. "The MIDAS Touch: Mixed Data Sampling Regression Models," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-20, CIRANO.
  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. 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.
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