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Reliable real-time output gap estimates based on a modified Hamilton filter

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  • Quast, Josefine
  • Wolters, Maik H.

Abstract

The authors contribute to the debate regarding the reliability of output gap estimates. As an alternative to the Hodrick-Prescott (HP) filter, they propose a simple modification of the filter proposed by Hamilton in 2018 that shares its favorable real-time properties, but leads to a more even coverage of typical business cycle frequencies. Based on output growth and inflation forecasts and a comparison to revised output gap estimates from policy institutions, they find that real-time output gaps based on the modified Hamilton filter are economically much more meaningful measures of the business cycle than those based on other simple statistical trend-cycle decomposition techniques such as the HP or the Bandpass filter.

Suggested Citation

  • Quast, Josefine & Wolters, Maik H., 2019. "Reliable real-time output gap estimates based on a modified Hamilton filter," IMFS Working Paper Series 133, Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:imfswp:133
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    4. Alessandro Barbarino & Travis J. Berge & Han Chen & Andrea Stella, 2020. "Which Output Gap Estimates Are Stable in Real Time and Why?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-102, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920.
    6. Böhl, Gregor, 2021. "Efficient solution and computation of models with occasionally binding constraints," IMFS Working Paper Series 148, Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    output gap; potential output; trend-cycle decomposition; Hamilton filter; real-time data; inflation forecasting;
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    JEL classification:

    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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