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Mind the Gap; What is the Best Measure of Slack in the Euro Area?

Author

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  • Angel J. Ubide
  • Kevin Ross

Abstract

Assessing the magnitude of the output gap is critical to achieving an optimal policy mix. Unfortunately, the gap is an unobservable variable, which, in practice, has been estimated in a variety of ways, depending on the preferences of the modeler. This model selection problem leads to a substantial degree of uncertainty regarding the magnitude of the output gap, which can reduce its usefulness as a policy tool. To overcome this problem, in this paper we attempt to insert some discipline into this search by providing two metrics-inflation forecasting and business cycle dating-against which different options can be evaluated using aggregated euro-area GDP data. Our results suggest that Gali, Gertler, and Lopez-Salido's (2001) inefficiency wedge performs best in inflation forecasting and production function methodology dominates in the prediction of turning points. If, however, a unique methodology must be selected, the quadratic trend delivers the best overall results.

Suggested Citation

  • Angel J. Ubide & Kevin Ross, 2001. "Mind the Gap; What is the Best Measure of Slack in the Euro Area?," IMF Working Papers 01/203, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/203
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Isabell Koske & Nigel Pain, 2008. "The Usefulness of Output Gaps for Policy Analysis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 621, OECD Publishing.
    2. Andreas Billmeier, 2006. "Measuring a Roller Coaster: Evidence on the Finnish Output Gap," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 69-83, Autumn.
    3. Andreas Billmeier, 2004. "Ghostbusting; Which Output Gap Measure Really Matters?," IMF Working Papers 04/146, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Mohamed A. Osman & Rosmy Jean Louis & Faruk Balli, 2009. "Output gap and inflation nexus: the case of United Arab Emirates," International Journal of Economics and Business Research, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 1(1), pages 118-135.
    5. Moisa Altar & Ciprian Necula & Gabriel Bobeica, 2009. "A Robust Assessment of the Romanian Business Cycle," Advances in Economic and Financial Research - DOFIN Working Paper Series 28, Bucharest University of Economics, Center for Advanced Research in Finance and Banking - CARFIB.
    6. Hjelm, Göran & Jönsson, Kristian, 2010. "In Search of a Method for Measuring the Output Gap of the Swedish Economy," Working Papers 115, National Institute of Economic Research.
    7. Duarte, Agustin & Venetis, Ioannis A. & Paya, Ivan, 2005. "Predicting real growth and the probability of recession in the Euro area using the yield spread," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 261-277.
    8. Grech, Aaron George, 2013. "Adapting the Hodrick-Prescott Filter for Very Small Open Economies," MPRA Paper 48803, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Antonio Paradiso & Saten Kumar & B. Bhaskara Rao, 2013. "A New Keynesian IS curve for Australia: is it forward looking or backward looking?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(26), pages 3691-3700, September.
    10. Moisa, Altar & Necula, Ciprian & Bobeica, Gabriel, 2010. "Estimating Potential GDP for the Romanian Economy. An Eclectic Approach," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 5-25, September.
    11. Otmar Issing, 2010. "The development of monetary policy in the 20th century – some reflections," Working Paper Research 186, National Bank of Belgium.
    12. Aaron G. Grech, "undated". "Investigating potential output using the Hodrick-Prescott filter: an application for Malta," CBM Working Papers WP/02/2014, Central Bank of Malta.
    13. Fabio Moneta, 2005. "Does the Yield Spread Predict Recessions in the Euro Area?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 263-301, August.

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