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Forecasting macroeconomic time series with locally adaptive signal extraction

  • Giordani, Paolo
  • Villani, Mattias

We introduce a non-Gaussian dynamic mixture model for macroeconomic forecasting. The locally adaptive signal extraction and regression (LASER) model is designed to capture relatively persistent AR processes (signal) which are contaminated by high frequency noise. The distributions of the innovations in both noise and signal are modeled robustly using mixtures of normals. The mean of the process and the variances of the signal and noise are allowed to shift either suddenly or gradually at unknown locations and unknown numbers of times. The model is then capable of capturing movements in the mean and conditional variance of a series, as well as in the signal-to-noise ratio. Four versions of the model are estimated by Bayesian methods and used to forecast a total of nine quarterly macroeconomic series from the US, Sweden and Australia. We observe that allowing for infrequent and large parameter shifts while imposing normal and homoskedastic errors often leads to erratic forecasts, but that the model typically forecasts well if it is made more robust by allowing for non-normal errors and time varying variances. Our main finding is that, for the nine series we analyze, specifications with infrequent and large shifts in error variances outperform both fixed parameter specifications and smooth, continuous shifts when it comes to interval coverage.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Forecasting.

Volume (Year): 26 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 312-325

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Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:26:y::i:2:p:312-325
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ijforecast

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  1. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Evidence on Structural Instability in Macroeconomic Time Series Relations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(1), pages 11-30, January.
  2. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2006. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," NBER Working Papers 12324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2004. "Prior Elicitation in Multiple Change-point Models," Discussion Papers in Economics 04/26, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  4. Bessec Marie & Bouabdallah Othman, 2005. "What Causes The Forecasting Failure of Markov-Switching Models? A Monte Carlo Study," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(2), pages 1-24, June.
  5. Clive W.J. Granger & Namwon Hyung, 2013. "Occasional Structural Breaks and Long Memory," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 739-764, November.
  6. Chib, Siddhartha, 1998. "Estimation and comparison of multiple change-point models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 221-241, June.
  7. Giordani, Paolo & Kohn, Robert, 2008. "Efficient Bayesian Inference for Multiple Change-Point and Mixture Innovation Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 66-77, January.
  8. Christoffersen, Peter F, 1998. "Evaluating Interval Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 841-62, November.
  9. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
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