Thursday, November 22, 2018

A New Canadian Macroeconomic Database

Anyone who's undertaken empirical macroeconomic research relating to Canada will know that there are some serious data challenges that have to be surmounted.

In particular, getting access to long-term, continuous, time series isn't as easy as you might expect.

Statistics Canada has been criticized frequently over the years by researchers who find that crucial economic series are suddenly "discontinued", or are re-defined in ways that make it extremely difficult to splice the pieces together into one meaningful time-series.

In recognition of these issues, a number of efforts have been made to provide Canadian economic data in forms that researchers need. These include, for instance, Boivin et al. (2010), Bedock and Stevanovic (2107), and Stephen Gordon's on-going "Project Link".

Thanks to Olivier Fortin-Gagnon, Maxime Leroux, Dalibor Stevanovic, &and St├ęphane Suprenant we now have an impressive addition to the available long-term Canadian time-series data. Their 2018 working paper, "A Large Canadian Database for Macroeconomic Analysis", discusses their new database and illustrates its usefulness in a variety of ways.

Here's the abstract: