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Testing for Structural Stability of Factor Augmented Forecasting Models

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  • Valentina Corradi

    ()
    (Warwick University)

  • Norman Swanson

    ()
    (Rutgers University)

Abstract

Mild factor loading instability, particularly if sufficiently independent across the different constituent variables, does not affect the estimation of the number of factors, nor subsequent estimation of the factors themselves (see e.g. Stock and Watson (2009)). This result does not hold in the presence of large common breaks in the factor loadings, however. In this case, information criteria overestimate the number of breaks. Additionally, estimated factors are no longer consistent estimators of "true" factors. Hence, various recent research papers in the diffusion index literature focus on testing the constancy of factor loadings. One reason why this is a positive development is that in applied work, factor augmented forecasting models are used widely for prediction, and it is important to understand when such models are stable. Now, forecast failure of factor augmented models can be due to either factor loading instability, regression coefficient instability, or both. To address this issue, we develop a test for the joint hypothesis of structural stability of both factor loadings and factor augmented forecasting model regression coefficients. The proposed statistic is based on the difference between full sample and rolling sample estimators of the sample covariance of the factors and the variable to be forecasted. Failure to reject the null ensures the structural stability of the factor augmented forecasting model. If the null is instead rejected, one can proceed to disentangle the cause of the rejection as being due to either (or both) of the afore mentioned varieties of instability. Standard inference can be carried out, as the suggested statistic has a chi-squared limiting distribution. We also establish the first order validity of (block) bootstrap critical values. Finally, we provide an empirical illustration by testing for the structural stability of factor augmented forecasting models for 11 U.S. macroeconomic indicators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 201314.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:201314

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Keywords: diffusion index; factor loading stability; forecast failure; forecast stability; regression coefficient stability;

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  1. West, Kenneth D & McCracken, Michael W, 1998. "Regression-Based Tests of Predictive Ability," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 817-40, November.
  2. Barbara Rossi & Atsushi Inoue, 2011. "Out-of-sample forecast tests robust to the choice of window size," Working Papers 11-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  4. Jörg Breitung & Sandra Eickmeier, 2006. "Dynamic factor models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 90(1), pages 27-42, March.
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  6. Breitung, Jörg & Eickmeier, Sandra, 2009. "Testing for structural breaks in dynamic factor models," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2009,05, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  7. Norman R. Swanson & Nii Ayi Armah, 2011. "Seeing Inside the Black Box: Using Diffusion Index Methodology to Construct Factor Proxies in Largescale Macroeconomic Time Series Environments," Departmental Working Papers 201105, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  8. Castle, Jennifer L. & Doornik, Jurgen A. & Hendry, David F., 2012. "Model selection when there are multiple breaks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 169(2), pages 239-246.
  9. Liang Chen & Juan José Dolado & Jesús Gonzalo, 2011. "Detecting big structural breaks in large factor models," Economics Working Papers we1141, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  10. Jennifer Castle & David Hendry, 2012. "Forecasting by factors, by variables, or both?," Economics Series Working Papers 600, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Raffella Giacomini & Barbara Rossi, 2005. "Detecting and Predicting Forecast Breakdowns," UCLA Economics Working Papers 845, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Goncalves, Silvia & White, Halbert, 2002. "Maximum Likelihood and the Bootstrap for Nonlinear Dynamic Models," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8hx21540, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  13. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Cheng, Xu & Liao, Zhipeng & Schorfheide, Frank, 2013. "Shrinkage estimation of high-dimensional factor models with structural instabilities," Working Papers 14-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Xu Cheng & Zhipeng Liao & Frank Schorfheide, 2014. "Shrinkage Estimation of High-Dimensional Factor Models with Structural Instabilities," NBER Working Papers 19792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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