The Role of the Log Transformation in Forecasting Economic Variables
AbstractFor forecasting and economic analysis many variables are used in logarithms (logs). In time series analysis this transformation is often considered to stabilize the variance of a series. We investigate under which conditions taking logs is beneficial for forecasting. Forecasts based on the original series are compared to forecasts based on logs. It is found that it depends on the data generation process whether the former or the latter are preferable. For a range of economic variables substantial forecasting improvements from taking logs are found if the log transformation actually stabilizes the variance of the underlying series. Using logs can be damaging for the forecast precision if a stable variance is not achieved.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2591.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
autoregressive moving average process; forecast mean squared error; instantaneous transformation; integrated process; heteroskedasticity;
Other versions of this item:
- Helmut Lütkepohl & Fang Xu, 2012. "The role of the log transformation in forecasting economic variables," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 619-638, June.
- C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Andrea Silvestrini & Matteo Salto & Laurent Moulin & David Veredas, 2008. "Monitoring and forecasting annual public deficit every month: the case of France," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 493-524, June.
- Harvey, David & Leybourne, Stephen & Newbold, Paul, 1997. "Testing the equality of prediction mean squared errors," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-291, June.
- Markku Lanne, Helmut Luetkepohl, 2006.
"Identifying Monetary Policy Shocks via Changes in Volatility,"
Economics Working Papers
ECO2006/23, European University Institute.
- Markku Lanne & Helmut Lütkepohl, 2008. "Identifying Monetary Policy Shocks via Changes in Volatility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(6), pages 1131-1149, 09.
- Markku Lanne & Helmut Luetkepohl, 2006. "Identifying Monetary Policy Shocks viaChanges in Volatility," CESifo Working Paper Series 1744, CESifo Group Munich.
- Christopher A. Sims & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006.
"Methods for inference in large multiple-equation Markov-switching models,"
2006-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Sims, Christopher A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2008. "Methods for inference in large multiple-equation Markov-switching models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 255-274, October.
- Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 1995.
"Comparing Predictive Accuracy,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 253-63, July.
- Tom Doan, . "DMARIANO: RATS procedure to compute Diebold-Mariano Forecast Comparison Test," Statistical Software Components RTS00055, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004.
"Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?,"
2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
- Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2005. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 92, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
- Arino, Miguel A. & Franses, Philip Hans, 2000. "Forecasting the levels of vector autoregressive log-transformed time series," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 111-116.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Log Transformations & Forecasting
by Dave Giles in Econometrics Beat: Dave Giles' Blog on 2012-05-22 19:20:00
- Roxana Halbleib & Valeri Voev, 2012.
"Forecasting Covariance Matrices: A Mixed Frequency Approach,"
Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz
2012-30, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
- Roxana Halbleib & Valeri Voev, 2011. "Forecasting Covariance Matrices: A Mixed Frequency Approach," CREATES Research Papers 2011-03, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
- Roxana Halbleib & Valerie Voev, 2011. "Forecasting Covariance Matrices: A Mixed Frequency Approach," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-002, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Gunnar Bårdsen and Helmut Lütkepohl, 2009.
"Forecasting Levels of log Variables in Vector Autoregressions,"
Working Paper Series
10409, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
- Bårdsen, Gunnar & Lütkepohl, Helmut, 2011. "Forecasting levels of log variables in vector autoregressions," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 1108-1115, October.
- Gunnar Bardsen & Helmut Luetkepohl, 2009. "Forecasting Levels of log Variables in Vector Autoregressions," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/24, European University Institute.
- Rossen, Anja, 2011. "On the predictive content of nonlinear transformations of lagged autoregression residuals and time series observations," HWWI Research Papers 113, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
- Helmut Lütkepohl, 2010.
"Forecasting Aggregated Time Series Variables: A Survey,"
OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis,
OECD Publishing,CIRET, vol. 2010(2), pages 1-26.
- Helmut Luetkepohl, 2009. "Forecasting Aggregated Time Series Variables: A Survey," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/17, European University Institute.
- Festic, Mejra & Kavkler, Alenka & Repina, Sebastijan, 2011. "The macroeconomic sources of systemic risk in the banking sectors of five new EU member states," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 310-322, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.