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Comparing Government Forecasts of the United States’ Gross Federal Debt

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  • Andrew B. Martinez

    ()
    (George Washington University)

Abstract

This paper compares annual one-step-ahead forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the United States‟ gross federal debt from 1984 to 2010. While comparisons of these agencies‟ forecasts have been done before, they have not focused on the debt. The paper finds that both agencies do a good job forecasting the debt except during recessions. Each agency‟s forecast lacks something that the other accounts for and an average of both out performs either individually. However, the Analysis of the President‟s Budget (APB), which includes information from both agencies, performs best.

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File URL: http://www.gwu.edu/~forcpgm/2011-002.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting in its series Working Papers with number 2011-002.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gwc:wpaper:2011-002

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  1. David F. Hendry & Carlos Santos, 2005. "Regression Models with Data-based Indicator Variables," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 67(5), pages 571-595, October.
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  3. Plesko, George A., 1988. "The Accuracy of Government Forecasts and Budget Projections," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(4), pages 483-501, December .
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  5. Chong, Yock Y & Hendry, David F, 1986. "Econometric Evaluation of Linear Macro-Economic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 671-90, August.
  6. Søren Johansen & Bent Nielsen, 2008. "An analysis of the indicator saturation estimator as a robust regression," Discussion Papers 08-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  7. David Hendry & Grayham E. Mizon, 2001. "Forecasting in the Presence of Structural Breaks and Policy Regime Shifts," Economics Papers 2002-W12, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  8. David Hendry & Carlos Santos, 2010. "An Automatic Test of Super Exogeneity," Economics Series Working Papers 476, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. David Hendry & Søren Johansen & Carlos Santos, 2008. "Automatic selection of indicators in a fully saturated regression," Computational Statistics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 337-339, April.
  10. Michael T. Belongia, 1988. "Are economic forecasts by government agencies biased? Accurate?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 15-23.
  11. Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 2003. "Forecasting exogenous fiscal variables in the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-59, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Jurgen A. Doornik, 2008. "Encompassing and Automatic Model Selection," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(s1), pages 915-925, December.
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