IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Measures of the Output Gap in the Euro-Zone: An Empirical Assessment of Selected Methods

  • Odile Chagny
  • Jörg Döpke
Registered author(s):

    The paper discusses some widely used methods for estimating output gaps based on aggregated data for the eurozone. Though these methods exhibit some common features, an empirical comparison demonstrates that the various techniques differ substantially. In particular, the correlation of output gaps calculated with different methods is generally low, the methods imply different turning points, and the estimated level of the output gap differs greatly. Moreover, tests suggest that some of the methods commonly used have only limited information content for inflation forecasting in the euro-zone. Conclusions for business cycle analysis and economic policy are offered. Der Aufsatz untersucht einige populäre Methoden zur Messung des Output Gaps auf der Basis von aggregierten Daten für die Euro-Zone. Obwohl die Methoden einige wichtige gemeinsame Eigenschaften aufweisen, zeigen sie auch erhebliche Unterschiede; insbesondere ist die Korrelation zwischen Output-Gap-Schätzungen auf Basis verschiedener Methoden niedrig, die Ansätze implizieren differierende Wendepunkte und das Niveau des Output Gaps variiert stark. Empirische Untersuchungen zeigen zudem, dass der Informationsgehalt der Gap-Variablen für die Prognose der Inflationsrate nur sehr klein ist. Einige Schlussfolgerungen hinsichtlich der Nützlichkeit von Output-Gap-Schätzungen und für die Wirtschaftspolitik werden gezogen.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1053.

    in new window

    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1053
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Kiellinie 66, D-24105 Kiel
    Phone: +49 431 8814-1
    Fax: +49 431 85853
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Fabio Scacciavillani & Phillip Swagel, 1999. "Measures of Potential Output: An Application to Israel," IMF Working Papers 99/96, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Timothy Cogley, 1997. "Evaluating non-structural measures of the business cycle," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-21.
    3. W. Bolt & P.J.A. van Els, 1998. "Output gap and inflation in the EU," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 550, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2001. "On Adjusting the HP-Filter for the Frequency of Observations," CESifo Working Paper Series 479, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Paula De Masi, 1997. "IMF Estimates of Potential Output: Theory and Practice," IMF Working Papers 97/177, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M., 1995. "Effects of the Hodrick-Prescott filter on trend and difference stationary time series Implications for business cycle research," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 253-278.
    7. Funke, Michael, 1997. "Supply potential and output gaps in West German manufacturing," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 211-222, June.
    8. Paul Conway & Ben Hunt, 1997. "Estimating potential output: a semi-structural approach," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G97/9, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    9. C. John McDermott & David T. Coe, 1996. "Does the Gap Model Work in Asia?," IMF Working Papers 96/69, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Danny Quah, 1988. "The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identification and Some Theoretical Bounds," Working papers 498, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    11. Laurence Boone, 2000. "Comparing Semi-Structural Methods to Estimate Unobserved Variables: The HPMV and Kalman Filters Approaches," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 240, OECD Publishing.
    12. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-47, July-Sept.
    14. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
    15. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
    16. Artis, Michael J & Kontolemis, Zenon G & Osborn, Denise R, 1997. "Business Cycles for G7 and European Countries," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(2), pages 249-79, April.
    17. Bernd Görzig, 2000. "Neuberechnung des Produktionspotentials für Branchen des verarbeitenden Gewerbes," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 69(1), pages 90-108.
    18. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Its Implications for Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 11-32, Winter.
    19. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon Van_Norden, 2000. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0768, Econometric Society.
    20. Elisabeth Algava & Mathieu Plane, 2001. "Vieillissement et protection sociale : Comparaison de six pays de l'Union européenne," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2246, Sciences Po.
    21. Burnside, Craig, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts: A comment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 513-532, May.
    22. Pete Richardson & Laurence Boone & Claude Giorno & Mara Meacci & David Rae & David Turner, 2000. "The Concept, Policy Use and Measurement of Structural Unemployment: Estimating a Time Varying NAIRU Across 21 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 250, OECD Publishing.
    23. Jane T. Haltmaier, 1996. "Inflation-adjusted potential output," International Finance Discussion Papers 561, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    24. Razzak, W., 1997. "The Hodrick-Prescott technique: A smoother versus a filter: An application to New Zealand GDP," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 163-168, December.
    25. Gerlach, Stefan & Svensson, Lars E. O., 2003. "Money and inflation in the euro area: A case for monetary indicators?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1649-1672, November.
    26. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
    27. Mikael Apel & Per Jansson, 1999. "System estimates of potential output and the NAIRU," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 373-388.
    28. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, Wenda, 1999. "Further Evidence on the International Business Cycle and the ERM: Is There a European Business Cycle?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 120-32, January.
    29. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    30. Cochrane, John H, 1994. "Permanent and Transitory Components of GNP and Stock Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 241-65, February.
    31. Gebhard Flaig & Claudia Ploetscher, 2000. "Estimating the Output Gap Using Business Survey Data - A Bivariate Structural Time Series Model for the German Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 233, CESifo Group Munich.
    32. Schumacher, Christian, 2002. "Forecasting Trend Output in the Euro Area," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 543-58, December.
    33. Beyer, A. & Doornik, J.A. & Hendry, D.F., 2000. "Constructing Historical Euro-Zone Data," Economics Working Papers eco2000/10, European University Institute.
    34. Canova, Fabio, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 475-512, May.
    35. Iris Claus, 2000. "Is the output gap a useful indicator of inflation?," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2000/05, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    36. 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.
    37. Sweta Chaman Saxena & Valerie Cerra, 2000. "Alternative Methods of Estimating Potential Output and the Output Gap: An Application to Sweden," IMF Working Papers 00/59, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1053. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dieter Stribny)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.