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Forecasting with Medium and Large Bayesian VARs

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  • Gary Koop

    (University of Strathclyde; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA))

Abstract

This paper is motivated by the recent interest in the use of Bayesian VARs for forecasting, even in cases where the number of dependent variables is large. In such cases, factor methods have been traditionally used but recent work using a particular prior suggests that Bayesian VAR methods can forecast better. In this paper, we consider a range of alternative priors which have been used with small VARs, discuss the issues which arise when they are used with medium and large VARs and examine their forecast performance using a US macroeconomic data set containing 168 variables. We ?nd that Bayesian VARs do tend to forecast better than factor methods and provide an extensive comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches. Our empirical results show the importance of using forecast metrics which use the entire predictive density, instead of using only point forecasts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 43_10.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:43_10

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Keywords: Bayesian; Minnesota prior; stochastic search variable selection; predictive likelihood;

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  1. Jochmann, Markus & Koop, Gary & Strachan, Rodney W., 2010. "Bayesian forecasting using stochastic search variable selection in a VAR subject to breaks," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 326-347, April.
  2. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-62, April.
  3. Marc Hallin & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2003. "Do financial variables help forecasting inflation and real activity in the Euro area ?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/2123, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1997. "Monetary policy shocks: what have we learned and to what end?," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. George, Edward I. & Sun, Dongchu & Ni, Shawn, 2008. "Bayesian stochastic search for VAR model restrictions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 553-580, January.
  6. Poirier, Dale J., 1998. "Revising Beliefs In Nonidentified Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 483-509, August.
  7. Bańbura, Marta & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2008. "Large Bayesian VARs," Working Paper Series 0966, European Central Bank.
  8. Korobilis, Dimitris, 2008. "Forecasting in vector autoregressions with many predictors," MPRA Paper 21122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Massimiliano Marcellino & James Stock & Mark Watson, 2005. "A Comparison of Direct and Iterated Multistep AR Methods for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," Working Papers 285, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  10. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1983. "Forecasting and Conditional Projection Using Realistic Prior Distributions," NBER Working Papers 1202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kadiyala, K Rao & Karlsson, Sune, 1997. "Numerical Methods for Estimation and Inference in Bayesian VAR-Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 99-132, March-Apr.
  12. Litterman, Robert, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian vector autoregressions -- Five years of experience : Robert B. Litterman, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics 4 (1986) 25-38," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 497-498.
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