Statistical Forum


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The International Monetary Fund held the Third IMF Statistical Forum on Statistics for Official Statistics to Support Evidence-based Economic Policymaking in Frankfurt, Germany on November 19–20, 2015.

This year's forum and discussions touched upon themes such as the relevance of micro data for evidence-based policymaking; big data and micro-data hubs; statistics on a from-whom-to-whom basis; macroeconomic impacts of natural resources; and measuring material conditions. The Third IMF Statistical Forum was co-organized by the Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt am Main.


November 19, 2015

9:00 a.m.

Welcome Remarks
Jens Weidmann, President, Deutsche Bundesbank

9:15 a.m.

Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF   

9:30 a.m.

Keynote Speech
Otmar Issing, former Chief Economist and Member of the Board of the ECB


11:00 a.m.

Session I:
The Relevance of Micro Data for Evidence-Based Policies

This session examines the role and relevance of micro data in economic policy; how micro data can be used to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of policies and policy instruments across a range of areas such as monetary policy, fiscal policy, and labor market analysis. Macroprudential policy focused on systemic stability calls for data on "tail events" which poses a particular challenge for official statistics to meet such data needs. Examples are microdata to evaluate regulatory changes, the effects of long-term unemployment benefits or job-creating measures, and distribution effects of monetary policy.



Charles Manski, Professor of Economics at the Northwestern University, United States

Paper by Charles Manski

Masaaki Shirakawa , Professor of International Politics, Economics and Communications, Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan

Presentation by Masaaki Shirakawa


Yungtaek Jung, Chief Representative in London, Bank of Korea

Presentation by Yungtaek Jung

Christoph Schmidt , President of the RWI Essen and Chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts, Germany

Presentation by Christoph Schmidt

Chair: Claudia Buch, Deputy President of the Deutsche Bundesbank

1:30 p.m.

Lunchtime Presentation: Data Science for Official Statistics

Granular data have been hailed as the "new oil" of the 21st century, with clear benefits to policy, society and public opinion research.This talk provides an overview of the way in which new data and new approaches have been used to measure a key area of the economy - R&D and innovation. It discusses the associated opportunities, challenges and lessons learned.

Julia Lane, Professor at Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, United States



2:00 p.m.

Session II
Big Data and Micro-Data Hubs

This session explores the potential of large and often unstructured granular information ("Big Data") as well as highly detailed administrative or survey data for decision making and statistical analysis. Data access, data protection, data quality and data ownership are key issues to be considered by data providers and also much debated in the public. For example, Micro Data Hubs are repositories of micro data made available to analysts, policy makers, and researchers, while protecting the confidentiality of the (highly sensitive) micro information.



Alberto Cavallo, Cecil and Ida Green Assistant Professor of Applied Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, United States

Presentation by Alberto Cavallo

Stefan Bender , Head of Research Data and Service Center, Deutsche Bundesbank

Presentation by Stefan Bender


Patrick McGuire, Head of the International Data Hub, Bank for International Settlements

Presentation by Patrick McGuire

Julia Lane, Professor at Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, United Statesy

Presentation by Julia Lane

Chair: Turalay Kenç, Deputy Governor, Turkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankasi

4:00 p.m.

Session III: Statistics on a from-whom-to-whom Basis

The 2008 global financial crisis highlighted the need to better identify the build-up of risks in the financial sector and to understand financial interrelations among the sectors of an economy and between domestic sectors and their counterparties in the rest of the world. Statistics on a from-whom- to-whom basis permit the analysis of relationships between systemically relevant institutional sectors and subsectors within an economy and also between these sectors and subsectors and non-residents. Trade and production statistics can also be set up on a "from-whom-to-whom" basis, illustrating the generation of value added as a result of international exchange of products and services in a network of labor partition among companies.



Markus Brunnermeier ,Edwards S. Sanford Professor at Princeton University, Director Bendheim Center for Finance, United States

Presentation by Markus Brunnermeier

Aurel Schubert , Director General, Directorate General Statistics, ECB

Presentation by Aurel Schubert


Katherine Hennings, Senior Advisor, Banco Central do Brasil

Presentation by Katherine Hennings

João Amador, Head of the Fiscal Policies and Structural Studies Division, Economics and Research Department, Banco de Portugal

Presentation by João Amador

Chair: Louis Marc Ducharme, Director, Statistics Department, IMF

November 20, 2015

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Session IV: Natural Resources: Macroeconomic Impacts

This session considers the conceptual frameworks and data requirements for analyzing the macroeconomic impacts of natural resources on individual economies and the global economy. It discusses the statistical measures required to assess the role of government revenues from natural resources and related issues of transparency and the frameworks used by resource-rich countries to manage commodity price uncertainty. Particular challenges for official statistics are the measurement of natural resource components of GDP, government revenues, and subsidies.


Speaker: Vitor Gaspar, Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF


Discussant: Hilde C. Bjørnland, Professor of Economics at BI Norwegian Business School and Director of the Centre for Applied Macro and Petroleum economics (CAMP)


Chair: Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, Deputy Governor for Research and International Affairs at Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA)

9:30-11:00 a.m.

Coffee Break and Exhibition Visit (Atrium)Session V: Measuring Material Conditions of Households - Growth, Jobs, and Wealth

This session addresses the need to go beyond measures of GDP to assess the well-being of households. Some key conceptual issues of what exactly should be measured remain. Therefore, the session examines the range of indicators that could be used to complement estimates of GDP to derive a more reliable measure of well-being. It will also examine how statisticians may go about compiling and disseminating distributional information for evidence-based policy. The session discusses the role of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in promoting the development of coherent measures of wellbeing.


Speakers: Krislert Samphantharak, Associate Professor of Economics School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego, United States


Luigi Guiso, Axa Professor of Household Finance and Insurance, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance, Italy


Discussants: Olympia Bover, Head of Unit of Microeconomic Information and Analysis, Research Division, Banco de España


Thomas F. Alexander, Senior Economist, Statistics Department, IMF


Chair: Marco Mira d’Ercole, OECD Head of Household Statistics and Progress Measurement Division

11:30 a.m.-1:00p.m.

Round Table Discussion

  • Summary of the individual sessions and conclusion for the way forward
  • Is there a micro data illusion? Limitations of manageability and controllability of new mountains of micro data. How to strike the right balance in micro and macro data


Participants: Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, Deputy Governor for Research and International Affairs at Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA)

Claudia Buch, Deputy President of the Deutsche Bundesbank

Katherine Hennings, Advisor, Banco Central do Brasil

Walter Radermacher, Director General, Eurostat

Krislert Samphantharak, Associate Professor of Economics School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego, United States

Chair: Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

1:00-1:15 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Louis Marc Ducharme, Director, Statistics Department, IMF



The website contains papers and web links to papers that will be presented at the Third IMF Statistical Forum. The views expressed in these papers and presentations are those of the authors only, and the presence of them, or of links to them, on the IMF website does not imply that the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management endorses or shares the views expressed in the papers.

Forum Program Committee (all IMF):

Louis Marc Ducharme (Chair), Claudia Dziobek, Robert Kirchner (Bundesbank)

Forum Coordinators: Thomas Alexander and Deon Tanzer