25 Years IWH

Dr Katja Heinisch

Dr Katja Heinisch
Current Position

since 1/13

Head of the Research Group Econometric Tools for Macroeconomic Forecasting

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 9/09

Economist in the Department of Macroeconomics

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

Research Interests

  • international macroeconomics
  • applied time series econometrics and short-term forecasting
  • macroeconometric modeling

Katja Heinisch has been working as an economist in the Department of Macroeconomics since 2009 and coordinates the research group "Econometric Tools for Macroeconomic Forecasting" since 2013. Her research focuses on short-term forecasting and macroeconometric modelling.

Katja Heinisch received her PhD from the University of Osnabrück in 2010. She studied Economics at the Chemnitz University of Technology and the University of Strasbourg. Katja Heinisch gained international research experience while working at the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Your contact

Dr Katja Heinisch
Dr Katja Heinisch
Mitglied - Department Macroeconomics
Send Message +49 345 7753-836

Publications

Bottom-up or Direct? Forecasting German GDP in a Data-rich Environment

Katja Heinisch Rolf Scheufele

in: Empirical Economics , forthcoming

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether there are benefits in disaggregating GDP into its components when nowcasting GDP. To answer this question, we conduct a realistic out-of-sample experiment that deals with the most prominent problems in short-term forecasting: mixed frequencies, ragged-edge data, asynchronous data releases and a large set of potential information. We compare a direct leading indicator-based GDP forecast with two bottom-up procedures—that is, forecasting GDP components from the production side or from the demand side. Generally, we find that the direct forecast performs relatively well. Among the disaggregated procedures, the production side seems to be better suited than the demand side to form a disaggregated GDP nowcast.

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The European Refugee Crisis and the Natural Rate of Output

Katja Heinisch Klaus Wohlrabe

in: Applied Economics Letters , forthcoming

Abstract

The European Commission follows a harmonized approach for calculating structural (potential) output for EU member states that takes into account labour as an important ingredient. This article shows how the recent huge migrants’ inflow to Europe affects trend output. Due to the fact that the immigrants immediately increase the working population but effectively do not enter the labour market, we illustrate that the potential output is potentially upward biased without any corrections. Taking Germany as an example, we find that the average medium-term potential growth rate is lower if the migration flow is modelled adequately compared to results based on the unadjusted European Commission procedure.

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The Performance of Short-term Forecasts of the German Economy before and during the 2008/2009 Recession

Katja Drechsel Rolf Scheufele

in: International Journal of Forecasting , No. 2, 2012

Abstract

The paper analyzes the forecasting performance of leading indicators for industrial production in Germany. We focus on single and pooled leading indicator models both before and during the financial crisis. Pairwise and joint significant tests are used to evaluate single indicator models as well as forecast combination methods. In addition, we investigate the stability of forecasting models during the most recent financial crisis.

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Working Papers

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Should Forecasters Use Real-time Data to Evaluate Leading Indicator Models for GDP Prediction? German Evidence

Katja Heinisch Rolf Scheufele

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 5, 2017

Abstract

In this paper we investigate whether differences exist among forecasts using real-time or latest-available data to predict gross domestic product (GDP). We employ mixed-frequency models and real-time data to reassess the role of survey data relative to industrial production and orders in Germany. Although we find evidence that forecast characteristics based on real-time and final data releases differ, we also observe minimal impacts on the relative forecasting performance of indicator models. However, when obtaining the optimal combination of soft and hard data, the use of final release data may understate the role of survey information.

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The European Refugee Crisis and the Natural Rate of Output

Katja Heinisch Klaus Wohlrabe

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 30, 2016

Abstract

The European Commission follows a harmonized approach for calculating structural (potential) output for EU member states that takes into account labor as an important ingredient. This paper shows how the recent huge migrants inflow to Europe affects trend output. Due to the fact that the immigrants immediately increase the working population but effectively do not enter the labor market, we illustrate that the potential output is potentially upward biased without any corrections. Taking Germany as an example, we find that the average medium-term potential growth rate is lower if the migration flow is modeled adequately compared to results based on the unadjusted European Commission procedure.

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Outperforming IMF Forecasts by the Use of Leading Indicators

Katja Drechsel Sebastian Giesen Axel Lindner

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 4, 2014

Abstract

This study analyzes the performance of the IMF World Economic Outlook forecasts for world output and the aggregates of both the advanced economies and the emerging and developing economies. With a focus on the forecast for the current and the next year, we examine whether IMF forecasts can be improved by using leading indicators with monthly updates. Using a real-time dataset for GDP and for the indicators we find that some simple single-indicator forecasts on the basis of data that are available at higher frequency can significantly outperform the IMF forecasts if the publication of the Outlook is only a few months old.

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