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On economic evaluation of directional forecasts

  • Blaskowitz, Oliver
  • Herwartz, Helmut

It is commonly accepted that information is helpful if it can be exploited to improve a decision making process. In economics, decisions are often based on forecasts of the upward or downward movements of the variable of interest. We point out that directional forecasts can provide a useful framework for assessing the economic forecast value when loss functions (or success measures) are properly formulated to account for the realized signs and realized magnitudes of directional movements. We discuss a general approach to (directional) forecast evaluation which is based on the loss function proposed by Granger, Pesaran and Skouras. It is simple to implement and provides an economically interpretable loss/success functional framework. We show that, in addition, this loss function is more robust to outlying forecasts than traditional loss functions. As such, the measure of the directional forecast value is a readily available complement to the commonly used squared error loss criterion.

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

Volume (Year): 27 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 1058-1065

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Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:27:y:2011:i:4:p:1058-1065
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ijforecast

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  1. Oller, Lars-Erik & Barot, Bharat, 2000. "The accuracy of European growth and inflation forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 293-315.
  2. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1992. "A Simple Nonparametric Test of Predictive Performance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(4), pages 561-65, October.
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  5. Spyros Skouras, 1998. "Financial Returns and Efficiency as seen by an Artificial Technical Analyst," Finance 9808001, EconWPA, revised 24 Aug 1998.
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  8. Oliver Blaskowitz & Helmut Herwartz, 2009. "Adaptive forecasting of the EURIBOR swap term structure," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 575-594.
  9. Elliott, Graham & Lieli, Robert P., 2013. "Predicting binary outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 174(1), pages 15-26.
  10. Armstrong, J. Scott & Collopy, Fred, 1992. "Error measures for generalizing about forecasting methods: Empirical comparisons," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 69-80, June.
  11. Oliver Blaskowitz & Helmut Herwartz, 2009. "Pca-Based Ex-Ante Forecasting Of Swap Term Structures," International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 12(04), pages 465-489.
  12. Makridakis, Spyros, 1993. "Accuracy measures: theoretical and practical concerns," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 527-529, December.
  13. Hyndman, Rob J. & Koehler, Anne B., 2006. "Another look at measures of forecast accuracy," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 679-688.
  14. Gencay, Ramazan, 1998. "Optimization of technical trading strategies and the profitability in security markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 249-254, May.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Anatolyev, Stanislav & Gerko, Alexander, 2005. "A Trading Approach to Testing for Predictability," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 455-461, October.
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