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Forecasting US state-level employment growth: An amalgamation approach

  • Rapach, David E.
  • Strauss, Jack K.

We forecast US state-level employment growth using several distinct econometric approaches: combinations of individual autoregressive distributed lag models, general-to-specific modeling with bootstrap aggregation (GETS-bagging), and approximate factor (or “beta”) models. Our results show that these forecasting approaches consistently deliver sizable reductions in mean squared forecast error (MSFE) relative to an autoregressive (AR) benchmark model across the 50 US states. On the basis of forecast encompassing test results, we also consider amalgamating these approaches and find that this strategy yields additional forecasting improvements. These improvements are particularly evident during national business-cycle recessions, where the amalgamation approach outperforms the AR benchmark for nearly all states and leads to a 40% reduction in MSFE on average across states relative to the AR benchmark.

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

Volume (Year): 28 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 315-327

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Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:28:y:2012:i:2:p:315-327
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ijforecast

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  1. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2001. "Tests of equal forecast accuracy and encompassing for nested models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 85-110, November.
  2. Michael T. Owyang & David E. Rapach & Howard J. Wall, 2008. "States and the business cycle," Working Papers 2007-050, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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  7. David E. Rapach & Jack K. Strauss, 2005. "Forecasting employment growth in Missouri with many potentially relevant predictors: an analysis of forecast combining methods," Regional Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 97-112.
  8. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1999. "Forecasting Inflation," NBER Working Papers 7023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David E. Rapach & Jack K. Strauss, 2008. "Forecasting US employment growth using forecast combining methods," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 75-93.
  10. Marco Aiolfi & Carlos Capistrán & Allan Timmermann, 2010. "Forecast Combinations," CREATES Research Papers 2010-21, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  11. Clark, Todd E. & West, Kenneth D., 2007. "Approximately normal tests for equal predictive accuracy in nested models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 291-311, May.
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  15. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2009. "Tests of Equal Predictive Ability With Real-Time Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 441-454.
  16. Mark W. Watson & James H. Stock, 2004. "Combination forecasts of output growth in a seven-country data set," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 405-430.
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  19. Clements, Michael P. & Hendry, David F., 2006. "Forecasting with Breaks," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
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  21. Harvey, David I & Leybourne, Stephen J & Newbold, Paul, 1998. "Tests for Forecast Encompassing," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(2), pages 254-59, April.
  22. David Rapach & Jack Strauss, 2010. "Bagging or Combining (or Both)? An Analysis Based on Forecasting U.S. Employment Growth," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(5-6), pages 511-533.
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