PhD defence of Jasper de Winter on 23 December 2016

On Friday 23 December 2016 Jasper de Winter will defend his PhD thesis entitled 'Nowcasting GDP Growth: Statistical Models versus Professional Analysts'. Supervisor is Professor Job Swank (Erasmus School of Economics) and other members of the committee are Professor Dick van Dijk, Professor Siem Jan Koopman (VU Amsterdam) en Dr. Jan Jacobs (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen).

Time and location

The PhD defence will take place in the Senate Hall of Erasmus University Rotterdam and will start at 13.30 hrs.

About 'Nowcasting GDP Growth: Statistical Models versus Professional Analysts'

This thesis contains four chapters that cast new light on the ability of professional analysts and statistical models to assess economic growth in the current quarter (nowcast) and its development in the near future. This is not a trivial issue. An accurate assessments of the current state of the economy is important as a starting point for medium-term forecasts, especially during times heightened volatility, such as the recent financial crisis.

Nowadays, practitioners have a wealth of statistical models to choose from; but which one should they use? Can statistical models be modified to improve their forecasting accuracy? What are the gains from combining the forecasts of different statistical models? Did the financial crisis change the forecasting performance of statistical models relative to professional analysts? Can practitioners use the near-term outlook of professional analysts to improve the forecasting accuracy of statistical models? This thesis gives answers to these questions, providing new insights of interst to both academics and practitioners. Central to this research is the construction of a new dataset, comprised of the near-term economic growth forecasts of professional analysts, and the monthly indicators available when analysts made their forecasts.

About Jasper de Winter

Jasper de Winter (1972) studied Economics at the University of Amsterdam. From 1997 to 2003 he worked at SEO Economics where he conducted applied research for clients in the (non) profit sector. Since 2003, he has been working at De Nederlandsche Bank as a (senior) economist. He is currently working in the Econometrics and Models Department, and is member of the Working Group on Forecasting of the European System of Central Banks. His main research interests are short-term forecasting and modeling.