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The reliability of Canadian output gap estimates

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  • Cayen, Jean-Philippe
  • van Norden, Simon

Abstract

Recent work on policy rules under uncertainty have highlighted the impact of output gap measurement errors on economic outcomes and their importance in the formulation of appropriate policy rules. This paper investigates the reliability of current estimates of the output gap in Canada. We begin by assembling a new data base of quarterly realtime output estimates which spans the post-WWII period and contains data vintages dating back to 1972. We use this with a broad range of univariate and multivariate output gap models to recreate ?contemporary? estimates of the output gap and then study how these estimates are revised over time. The nature and sources of these revisions are used to draw conclusions about the overall measurement errors associated with current estimates of the output gap. Relative to similar recent work with US realtime data, we find that revisions in Canadian output gaps are more important and that the role of data revision is less innocuous than previously indicated. We also show that using the change rather than the level of the output gap may only modestly reduce the measurement problem, and we investigate the relative importance of model uncertainty to overall measurement uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Cayen, Jean-Philippe & van Norden, Simon, 2004. "The reliability of Canadian output gap estimates," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,29, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:2295
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    Cited by:

    1. Chiu, Adrian & Wieladek, Tomasz, 2012. "Did output gap measurement improve over time?," Discussion Papers 36, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
    2. Simon van Norden, 2015. "Estimates of Québec’s Growth Uncertainty," CIRANO Project Reports 2015rp-01, CIRANO.
    3. Cayen, Jean-Philippe & van Norden, Simon, 2005. "The reliability of Canadian output-gap estimates," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 373-393, December.
    4. Gerhard Kempkes, 2014. "Cyclical Adjustment in Fiscal Rules: Some Evidence on Real-Time Bias for EU-15 Countries," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 70(2), pages 278-315, June.
    5. Clark, Todd E. & Kozicki, Sharon, 2005. "Estimating equilibrium real interest rates in real time," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 395-413, December.
    6. Farrell, Greg, 2014. "Countercyclical capital buffers and real-time credit-to-GDP gap estimates: A South African perspective," MPRA Paper 55368, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Aastveit, Knut Are & Trovik, Tørres, 2014. "Estimating the output gap in real time: A factor model approach," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 180-193.
    8. Ince, Onur & Papell, David H., 2013. "The (un)reliability of real-time output gap estimates with revised data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 713-721.
    9. International Monetary Fund, 2014. "Russian Federation; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 14/176, International Monetary Fund.
    10. Arturo Antón-Sarabia, 2008. "El problema al final de la muestra en la estimación del PIB potencial," Working papers DTE 442, CIDE, División de Economía.
    11. Dean Croushore, 2011. "Frontiers of Real-Time Data Analysis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 72-100, March.
    12. Rochelle M. Edge & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2016. "Real-Time Properties of the Federal Reserve's Output Gap," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 785-791, October.
    13. Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, Alex, 2008. "Monetary Policy Evaluation in Real Time: Forward-Looking Taylor Rules Without Forward-Looking Data," MPRA Paper 11352, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. 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.
    15. Julien Champagne & Guillaume Poulin-Bellisle & Rodrigo Sekkel, 2016. "The Real-Time Properties of the Bank of Canada’s Staff Output Gap Estimates," Staff Working Papers 16-28, Bank of Canada.
    16. Adriana Fernandez & Evan F. Koenig & Alex Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, 2008. "The relative performance of alternative Taylor rule specifications," Staff Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Jun.
    17. Kempkes, Gerhard, 2012. "Cyclical adjustment in fiscal rules: Some evidence on real-time bias for EU-15 countries," Discussion Papers 15/2012, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    18. Bernhardsen, Tom & Eitrheim, Oyvind & Jore, Anne Sofie & Roisland, Oistein, 2005. "Real-time data for Norway: Challenges for monetary policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 333-349, December.
    19. repec:pid:journl:v:56:y:2017:i:3:p:193-219 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. S. Adnan H. A. S. Bukhari & Safdar Ullah Khan, 2008. "Estimating Output Gap for Pakistan Economy: Structural and Statistical Approaches," SBP Research Bulletin, State Bank of Pakistan, Research Department, vol. 4, pages 31-60.
    21. L Christopher Plantier & Ozer Karagedikli, 2005. "Do so-called multivariate filters have better revision properties? An empirical analysis," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 250, Society for Computational Economics.
    22. Jean-Philippe Cayen & Marc-André Gosselin & Sharon Kozicki, 2009. "Estimating DSGE-Model-Consistent Trends for Use in Forecasting," Staff Working Papers 09-35, Bank of Canada.
    23. 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.
    24. Rafael Cusinato & André Minella & Sabino Silva Pôrto Júnior, 2013. "Output gap in Brazil: a real-time data analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1113-1127, June.
    25. Fernandez, Adriana Z. & Koenig, Evan F. & Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, Alex, 2010. "Can alternative Taylor-rule specifications describe Federal Reserve policy decisions?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 733-757, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    output gap; business cycle; real-time data; policy rules; monetary policy; Canada;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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