Econometric Tools for Macroeconomic Forecasting and Simulation

The aim of this research group is to enhance research on, and development, implementation, evaluation, and application of quantitative macroeconometric models for forecasting and analysing aggregate economic fluctuations and developments. Research in this group contributes to the econometric foundation and the methodological improvements of the IWH forecasts. During the last years, the IWH has highly specialised in macroeconomic modelling, both for flash estimates and medium-term projections. Furthermore, this group conducts comprehensive empirical analysis and develops econometric tools that are used for third-party funded projects. In the last years, particular models have been developed for e.g. Volkswagen Financial Services AG and for GIZ. The research group contributed in particular on macroeconomic modelling for ministries in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as well as for the institute of forecasting and macroeconomic research (IFMR) Uzbekistan.

IWH Data Project: IWH Real-time Database

Research Cluster
Macroeconomic Dynamics and Stability

Your contact

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

EXTERNAL FUNDING

01.2018 ‐ 12.2023

EuropeAid (EU Framework Contract)

European Commission

Professor Dr Oliver Holtemöller

07.2016 ‐ 12.2018

Climate Protection and Coal Phaseout: Political Strategies and Measures up to 2030 and beyond

Umweltbundesamt (UBA)

Dr Katja Heinisch

01.2017 ‐ 12.2017

Support to Sustainable Economic Development in Selected Regions of Uzbekistan

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Dr Andrej Drygalla

01.2017 ‐ 12.2017

Short-term Macroeconomic Forecasting Model in Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Dr Andrej Drygalla

01.2016 ‐ 12.2017

Development of analytical tools based on Input-Output table

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

The aim of the project was the development of an analytical tool to assess the gains and losses of possible state programs supporting the development of the private sector of the Tajik economy.

Dr Katja Heinisch

11.2015 ‐ 12.2016

Employment and Development in the Republic of Uzbekistan

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Support to sustainable economic development in selected regions of Uzbekistan

Dr Katja Heinisch

05.2016 ‐ 05.2016

Framework and Finance for Private Sector Development in Tajikistan

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Dr Katja Heinisch

02.2016 ‐ 04.2016

Macroeconomic Reforms and Green Growth - Assessment of economic modelling capacity in Vietnam

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Dr Katja Heinisch

Refereed Publications

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On DSGE Models

Lawrence J. Christiano Martin S. Eichenbaum Mathias Trabandt

in: Journal of Economic Perspectives, No. 3, 2018

Abstract

The outcome of any important macroeconomic policy change is the net effect of forces operating on different parts of the economy. A central challenge facing policymakers is how to assess the relative strength of those forces. Economists have a range of tools that can be used to make such assessments. Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models are the leading tool for making such assessments in an open and transparent manner. We review the state of mainstream DSGE models before the financial crisis and the Great Recession. We then describe how DSGE models are estimated and evaluated. We address the question of why DSGE modelers—like most other economists and policymakers—failed to predict the financial crisis and the Great Recession, and how DSGE modelers responded to the financial crisis and its aftermath. We discuss how current DSGE models are actually used by policymakers. We then provide a brief response to some criticisms of DSGE models, with special emphasis on criticism by Joseph Stiglitz, and offer some concluding remarks.

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

Katja Heinisch Rolf Scheufele

in: Empirical Economics, No. 2, 2018

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, No. 16, 2017

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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Impulse Response Analysis in a Misspecified DSGE Model: A Comparison of Full and Limited Information Techniques

Sebastian Giesen Rolf Scheufele

in: Applied Economics Letters, No. 3, 2016

Abstract

In this article, we examine the effect of estimation biases – introduced by model misspecification – on the impulse responses analysis for dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models. Thereby, we use full and limited information estimators to estimate a misspecified DSGE model and calculate impulse response functions (IRFs) based on the estimated structural parameters. It turns out that IRFs based on full information techniques can be unreliable under misspecification.

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Effects of Incorrect Specification on the Finite Sample Properties of Full and Limited Information Estimators in DSGE Models

Sebastian Giesen Rolf Scheufele

in: Journal of Macroeconomics, June 2016

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the small sample properties of full information and limited information estimators in a potentially misspecified DSGE model. Therefore, we conduct a simulation study based on a standard New Keynesian model including price and wage rigidities. We then study the effects of omitted variable problems on the structural parameter estimates of the model. We find that FIML performs superior when the model is correctly specified. In cases where some of the model characteristics are omitted, the performance of FIML is highly unreliable, whereas GMM estimates remain approximately unbiased and significance tests are mostly reliable.

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Working Papers

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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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A Federal Long-run Projection Model for Germany

Oliver Holtemöller Maike Irrek Birgit Schultz

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 11, 2012

Abstract

Many economic decisions implicitly or explicitly rely on a projection of the medium- or long-term economic development of a country or region. In this paper, we provide a federal long-run projection model for Germany and the German states. The model fea-tures a top-down approach and, as major contribution, uses error correction models to estimate the regional economic development dependent on the national projection. For the medium- and long-term projection of economic activity, we apply a production function approach. We provide a detailed robustness analysis by systematically varying assumptions of the model. Additionally, we explore the effects of different demographic trends on economic development.

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Does Central Bank Staff Beat Private Forecasters?

Makram El-Shagi Sebastian Giesen A. Jung

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 5, 2012

Abstract

In the tradition of Romer and Romer (2000), this paper compares staff forecasts of the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the European Central Bank (ECB) for inflation and output with corresponding private forecasts. Standard tests show that the Fed and less so the ECB have a considerable information advantage about inflation and output. Using novel tests for conditional predictive ability and forecast stability for the US, we identify the driving forces of the narrowing of the information advantage of Greenbook forecasts coinciding with the Great Moderation.

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Should We Trust in Leading Indicators? Evidence from the Recent Recession

Katja Drechsel Rolf Scheufele

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 10, 2010

Abstract

The paper analyzes leading indicators for GDP and industrial production in Germany. We focus on the performance of single and pooled leading indicators during the pre-crisis and crisis period using various weighting schemes. Pairwise and joint significant tests are used to evaluate single indicator as well as forecast combination methods. In addition, we use an end-of-sample instability test to investigate the stability of forecasting models during the recent financial crisis. We find in general that only a small number of single indicator models were performing well before the crisis. Pooling can substantially increase the reliability of leading indicator forecasts. During the crisis the relative performance of many leading indicator models increased. At short horizons, survey indicators perform best, while at longer horizons financial indicators, such as term spreads and risk spreads, improve relative to the benchmark.

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Is East Germany Catching Up? A Time Series Perspective

Bernd Aumann Rolf Scheufele

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 14, 2009

Abstract

This paper assesses whether the economy of East Germany is catching up with the West German region in terms of welfare. While the primary measure for convergence and catching up is per capita output, we also look at other macroeconomic indicators such as unemployment rates, wage rates, and production levels in the manufacturingsector. In contrast to existing studies of convergence between regions of reunified Germany, our approach is purely based upon the time series dimension and is thus directly focused on the catching up process in East Germany as a region. Our testing setup includes standard ADF unit root tests as well as unit root tests that endogenously allow for a break in the deterministic component of the process. In our analysis, we find evidence of catching up for East Germany for most of the indicators. However, convergence speed is slow, and thus it can be expected that the catching up process will take further decades until the regional gap is closed.

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