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A statistical test for forecast evaluation under a discrete loss function

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Abstract

We propose a new approach to evaluating the usefulness of a set of forecasts, based on the use of a discrete loss function de ned on the space of data and forecasts. Exist- ing procedures for such an evaluation either do not allow for formal testing, or use tests statistics based just on the frequency distribution of (data , forecasts)-pairs. They can easily lead to misleading conclusions in some reasonable situations, because of the way they formalize the underlying null hypothesis that ‘the set of forecasts is not useful’. Even though the ambiguity of the underlying null hypothesis precludes us from per- forming a standard analysis of the size and power of the tests, we get results suggesting that the proposed DISC test performs better than its competitors.

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Paper provided by Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico in its series Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE with number 2011-07.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:1107

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Keywords: Forecasting Evaluation; Loss Function.;

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  1. Mills, Terence C. & Pepper, Gordon T., 1999. "Assessing the forecasters: an analysis of the forecasting records of the Treasury, the London Business School and the National Institute," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 247-257, July.
  2. Pesaran, M.H. & Timmermann, A., 1990. "A Simple Non-Parametric Test Of Predictive Performance," Papers 29, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  3. Joutz, Fred & Stekler, H. O., 2000. "An evaluation of the predictions of the Federal Reserve," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 17-38.
  4. Ash, J. C. K. & Smyth, D. J. & Heravi, S. M., 1998. "Are OECD forecasts rational and useful?: a directional analysis," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 381-391, September.
  5. Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. I. An Equilibrium Theory of Value for Market Forecasts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 363-406, July.
  6. Henriksson, Roy D & Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. II. Statistical Procedures for Evaluating Forecasting Skills," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 513-33, October.
  7. Greer, Mark, 2003. "Directional accuracy tests of long-term interest rate forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 291-298.
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