779 research outputs found

    Extracting the Italian output gap: a Bayesian approach

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    During the last decades particular effort has been directed towards understanding and predicting the relevant state of the business cycle with the objective of decomposing permanent shocks from those having only a transitory impact on real output. This trend--cycle decomposition has a relevant impact on several economic and fiscal variables and constitutes by itself an important indicator for policy purposes. This paper deals with trend--cycle decomposition for the Italian economy having some interesting peculiarities which makes it attractive to analyse from both a statistic and an historical perspective. We propose an univariate model for the quarterly real GDP, subsequently extended to include the price dynamics through a Phillips curve. This study considers a series of the Italian quarterly real GDP recently released by OECD which includes both the 1960s and the recent global financial crisis of 2007--2008. Parameters estimate as well as the signal extraction are performed within the Bayesian paradigm which effectively handles complex models where the parameters enter the log--likelihood function in a strongly nonlinear way. A new Adaptive Independent Metropolis--within--Gibbs sampler is then developed to efficiently simulate the parameters of the unobserved cycle. Our results suggest that inflation influences the Output Gap estimate, making the extracted Italian OG an important indicator of inflation pressures on the real side of the economy, as stated by the Phillips theory. Moreover, our estimate of the sequence of peaks and troughs of the Output Gap is in line with the OECD official dating of the Italian business cycle

    On the Lp-quantiles for the Student t distribution

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    L_p-quantiles represent an important class of generalised quantiles and are defined as the minimisers of an expected asymmetric power function, see Chen (1996). For p=1 and p=2 they correspond respectively to the quantiles and the expectiles. In his paper Koenker (1993) showed that the tau quantile and the tau expectile coincide for every tau in (0,1) for a class of rescaled Student t distributions with two degrees of freedom. Here, we extend this result proving that for the Student t distribution with p degrees of freedom, the tau quantile and the tau L_p-quantile coincide for every tau in (0,1) and the same holds for any affine transformation. Furthermore, we investigate the properties of L_p-quantiles and provide recursive equations for the truncated moments of the Student t distribution

    Bayesian inference for CoVaR

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    Recent financial disasters emphasised the need to investigate the consequence associated with the tail co-movements among institutions; episodes of contagion are frequently observed and increase the probability of large losses affecting market participants' risk capital. Commonly used risk management tools fail to account for potential spillover effects among institutions because they provide individual risk assessment. We contribute to analyse the interdependence effects of extreme events providing an estimation tool for evaluating the Conditional Value-at-Risk (CoVaR) defined as the Value-at-Risk of an institution conditioned on another institution being under distress. In particular, our approach relies on Bayesian quantile regression framework. We propose a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm exploiting the Asymmetric Laplace distribution and its representation as a location-scale mixture of Normals. Moreover, since risk measures are usually evaluated on time series data and returns typically change over time, we extend the CoVaR model to account for the dynamics of the tail behaviour. Application on U.S. companies belonging to different sectors of the Standard and Poor's Composite Index (S&P500) is considered to evaluate the marginal contribution to the overall systemic risk of each individual institutio

    Extracting the Cyclical Component in Hours Worked: a Bayesian Approach

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    The series on average hours worked in the manufacturing sector is a key leading indicator of the U.S. business cycle. The paper deals with robust estimation of the cyclical component for the seasonally adjusted time series. This is achieved by an unobserved components model featuring an irregular component that is represented by a Gaussian mixture with two components. The mixture aims at capturing the kurtosis which characterizes the data. After presenting a Gibbs sampling scheme, we illustrate that the Gaussian mixture model provides a satisfactory representation of the data, allowing for the robust estimation of the cyclical component of per capita hours worked. Another important piece of evidence is that the outlying observations are not scattered randomly throughout the sample, but have a distinctive seasonal pattern. Therefore, seasonal adjustment plays a role. We ¯nally show that, if a °exible seasonal model is adopted for the unadjusted series, the level of outlier contamination is drastically reduced.Gaussian Mixtures, Robust signal extraction, State Space Models, Bayesian model selection, Seasonality

    Renal sodium retention in pre-ascitic cirrhosis: the more we know about the puzzle, the more it becomes intricate.

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    Ascites develops in 5–10% of patients with compensated cirrhosis per year and carries an ominous prognosis [1] . The appropriate management and possible prevention of this complication obvi- ously depends on an in-depth knowledge of ascites pathophysiol- ogy, which remains somewhat elusive despite many studies that have addressed the topic over decades. There is no doubt that post-sinusoidal portal hypertension is the main ''local" pathoge- netic factor, and renal sodium retention is the main ''systemic" event leading to a positive fluid balance and, ultimately, ascites formation. However, uncertainties surround both the efferent (that is the factors/systems promoting renal sodium retention) and afferent (that is the factors that activate efferent mecha- nisms) factors associated with renal sodium handling abnormal- ities [2] . Sodium balance has been demonstrated to become positive before ascites formation both in animal models of cirrho- sis and humans [3–6] . Study of the early mechanisms leading to ascites would help unveil its pathophysiology in a stage of the disease where further complications involving systemic hemody- namics and renal function may act as confounding factors. In this issue of the Journal of Hepatology, Sansoè and co-workers pres- ent a fine study on an efferent mechanism potentially leading to renal sodium retention in pre-ascitic cirrhosi
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