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U-MIDAS: MIDAS regressions with unrestricted lag polynomials

  • Foroni, Claudia
  • Marcellino, Massimiliano
  • Schumacher, Christian

Mixed-data sampling (MIDAS) regressions allow to estimate dynamic equations that explain a low-frequency variable by high-frequency variables and their lags. When the difference in sampling frequencies between the regressand and the regressors is large, distributed lag functions are typically employed to model dynamics avoiding parameter proliferation. In macroeconomic applications, however, differences in sampling frequencies are often small. In such a case, it might not be necessary to employ distributed lag functions. In this paper, we discuss the pros and cons of unrestricted lag polynomials in MIDAS regressions. We derive unrestricted MIDAS regressions (U-MIDAS) from linear high-frequency models, discuss identification issues, and show that their parameters can be estimated by OLS. In Monte Carlo experiments, we compare U-MIDAS to MIDAS with functional distributed lags estimated by NLS. We show that U-MIDAS generally performs better than MIDAS when mixing quarterly and monthly data. On the other hand, with larger differences in sampling frequencies, distributed lag-functions outperform unrestricted polynomials. In an empirical application on out-of-sample nowcasting GDP in the US and the Euro area using monthly predictors, we find a good performance of U-MIDAS for a number of indicators, albeit the results depend on the evaluation sample. We suggest to consider U-MIDAS as a potential alternative to the existing MIDAS approach in particular for mixing monthly and quarterly variables. In practice, the choice between the two approaches should be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on their relative performance.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2011,35.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:201135
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  1. Claudia FORONI & Massimiliano MARCELLINO, 2012. "A Comparison of Mixed Frequency Approaches for Modelling Euro Area Macroeconomic Variables," Economics Working Papers ECO2012/07, European University Institute.
  2. Rodriguez, Abel & Puggioni, Gavino, 2010. "Mixed frequency models: Bayesian approaches to estimation and prediction," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 293-311, April.
  3. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2005. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," CEPR Discussion Papers 5178, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Lutkepohl, Helmut, 1981. "A model for non-negative and non-positive distributed lag functions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 211-219, June.
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  7. Tommaso Proietti & Filippo Moauro, 2006. "Dynamic factor analysis with non-linear temporal aggregation constraints," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 55(2), pages 281-300.
  8. Massimiliano Marcellino, 2005. "Pooling-based Data Interpolation and Backdating," Working Papers 299, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  9. Vladimir Kuzin & Massimiliano Marcellino & Christian Schumacher, 2009. "MIDAS vs. mixed-frequency VAR: Nowcasting GDP in the Euro Area," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/32, European University Institute.
  10. 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.
  11. Eric Ghysels & Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2003. "There is a Risk-Return Tradeoff After All," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-26, CIRANO.
  12. Weiss, Andrew A., 1984. "Systematic sampling and temporal aggregation in time series models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-281, December.
  13. Evan F. Koenig & Sheila Dolmas & Jeremy Piger, 2003. "The Use and Abuse of Real-Time Data in Economic Forecasting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 618-628, August.
  14. 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.
  15. Angelini, Elena & Henry, Jerome & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2006. "Interpolation and backdating with a large information set," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2693-2724, December.
  16. Diron, Marie, 2006. "Short-term forecasts of euro area real GDP growth: an assessment of real-time performance based on vintage data," Working Paper Series 0622, European Central Bank.
  17. 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.
  18. Elena Andreou & Eric Ghysels & Andros Kourtellos, 2007. "Regression Models with Mixed Sampling Frequencies," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 8-2007, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  19. Massimiliano Marcellino & Christian Schumacher, 2010. "Factor MIDAS for Nowcasting and Forecasting with Ragged-Edge Data: A Model Comparison for German GDP," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(4), pages 518-550, 08.
  20. James H. Stock & Mark M. Watson, 2003. "How did leading indicator forecasts perform during the 2001 recession?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 71-90.
  21. Marcellino, Massimiliano, 1999. "Some Consequences of Temporal Aggregation in Empirical Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 129-36, January.
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