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Bagging or Combining (or Both)? An Analysis Based on Forecasting U.S. Employment Growth

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  • David Rapach
  • Jack Strauss

Abstract

Forecasting a macroeconomic variable is challenging in an environment with many potential predictors whose predictive ability can vary over time. We compare two approaches to forecasting U.S. employment growth in this type of environment. The first approach applies bootstrap aggregating (bagging) to a general-to-specific procedure based on a general dynamic linear regression model with 30 potential predictors. The second approach considers several methods for combining forecasts from 30 individual autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) models, where each individual ARDL model contains a potential predictor. We analyze bagging and combination forecasts at multiple horizons over four different out-of-sample periods using a mean square forecast error (MSFE) criterion and forecast encompassing tests. We find that bagging forecasts often deliver the lowest MSFE. Interestingly, we also find that incorporating information from both bagging and combination forecasts based on principal components often leads to further gains in forecast accuracy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Econometric Reviews.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5-6 ()
Pages: 511-533

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Handle: RePEc:taf:emetrv:v:29:y:2010:i:5-6:p:511-533

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Related research

Keywords: Bagging; Combination forecasts; Employment; Forecast encompassing; Principal components;

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Cited by:
  1. Rangan Gupta & Alain Kabundi & Stephen Miller & Josine Uwilingiye, 2014. "Using large data sets to forecast sectoral employment," Statistical Methods and Applications, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 229-264, June.
  2. Strauss, Jack, 2013. "Does housing drive state-level job growth? Building permits and consumer expectations forecast a state’s economic activity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 77-93.
  3. Huiyu Huang & Tae-Hwy Lee, 2013. "Forecasting Value-at-Risk Using High-Frequency Information," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(1), pages 127-140, June.
  4. Rapach, David E. & Strauss, Jack K., 2012. "Forecasting US state-level employment growth: An amalgamation approach," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 315-327.
  5. Kopoin, Alexandre & Moran, Kevin & Paré, Jean-Pierre, 2013. "Forecasting regional GDP with factor models: How useful are national and international data?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 267-270.
  6. Rangan Gupta & Mampho P. Modise & Josine Uwilingiye, 2011. "Out-of-Sample Equity Premium Predictability in South Africa: Evidence from a Large Number of Predictors," Working Papers 201122, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

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