Midas Vs. Mixed-Frequency VAR: Nowcasting GDP in the Euro Area

25 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2009

See all articles by Vladimir Kuzin

Vladimir Kuzin

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Massimiliano Giuseppe Marcellino

European University Institute; European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS); Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Christian Schumacher

Deutsche Bundesbank

Date Written: September 2009

Abstract

This paper compares the mixed-data sampling (MIDAS) and mixed-frequency VAR (MF-VAR) approaches to model specification in the presence of mixed-frequency data, e.g., monthly and quarterly series. MIDAS leads to parsimonious models based on exponential lag polynomials for the coefficients, whereas MF-VAR does not restrict the dynamics and therefore can suffer from the curse of dimensionality. But if the restrictions imposed by MIDAS are too stringent, the MF-VAR can perform better. Hence, it is difficult to rank MIDAS and MF-VAR a priori, and their relative ranking is better evaluated empirically. In this paper, we compare their performance in a relevant case for policy making, i.e., nowcasting and forecasting quarterly GDP growth in the euro area, on a monthly basis and using a set of 20 monthly indicators. It turns out that the two approaches are more complementary than substitutes, since MF-VAR tends to perform better for longer horizons, whereas MIDAS for shorter horizons.

Keywords: euro area growth, MIDAS, mixed-frequency data, mixed-frequency VAR, nowcasting

JEL Classification: C53, E37

Suggested Citation

Kuzin, Vladimir and Marcellino, Massimiliano and Schumacher, Christian, Midas Vs. Mixed-Frequency VAR: Nowcasting GDP in the Euro Area (September 2009). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7445, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1484478

Vladimir Kuzin

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Massimiliano Marcellino (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

Villa Schifanoia
133 via Bocaccio
Firenze (Florence), Tuscany 50014
Italy

European University Institute - Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) ( email )

Villa La Fonte, via delle Fontanelle 18
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, Florence 50014
Italy

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Christian Schumacher

Deutsche Bundesbank ( email )

Wilhelm-Epstein-Str. 14
Frankfurt/Main, 60431
Germany

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