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Real-time forecast averaging with ALFRED

  • Chanont Banternghansa
  • Michael W. McCracken

This paper presents empirical evidence on the efficacy of forecast averaging using the ALFRED (ArchivaL Federal Reserve Economic Data) real-time database. We consider averages over a variety of bivariate vector autoregressive models. These models are distinguished from one another based on at least one of the following factors: (i) the choice of variables used as predictors, (ii) the number of lags, (iii) use of all available data or only data after the Great Moderation, (iv) the observation window used to estimate the model parameters and construct averaging weights, and (v) for the forecast horizons greater than one, the use of either iterated multistep or direct multistep methods. A variety of averaging methods are considered. The results indicate that the benefits of model averaging relative to Bayesian information criterion-based model selection are highly dependent on the class of models averaged The authors provide a novel decomposition of the forecast improvements that allows determination of the most (and least) helpful types of averaging methods and models averaged across.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): Jan ()
Pages: 49-66

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2011:i:jan:p:49-66:n:v.93no.1
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  1. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2004. "Improving forecast accuracy by combining recursive and rolling forecasts," Research Working Paper RWP 04-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  2. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David H., 2006. "Nowcasting GDP and inflation: the real-time informational content of macroeconomic data releases," Working Paper Series 0633, European Central Bank.
  3. Kapetanios, George & Labhard, Vincent & Price, Simon, 2008. "Forecasting Using Bayesian and Information-Theoretic Model Averaging: An Application to U.K. Inflation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 33-41, January.
  4. Christian Kascha & Francesco Ravazzolo, 2010. "Combining inflation density forecasts," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1-2), pages 231-250.
  5. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2008. "Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities," Working Papers 2008-030, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Hansen, Bruce E., 2008. "Least-squares forecast averaging," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 342-350, October.
  7. Elliott, Graham & Timmermann, Allan, 2004. "Optimal forecast combinations under general loss functions and forecast error distributions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 47-79, September.
  8. D'Agostino, Antonello & Domenico, Giannone & Surico, Paolo, 2006. "(Un)Predictability and Macroeconomic Stability," Research Technical Papers 5/RT/06, Central Bank of Ireland.
  9. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-69, June.
  10. Anthony Garratt & Gary Koop & Shaun P. Vahey, 2006. "Forecasting Substantial Data Revisions in the Presence of Model Uncertainty," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2006/02, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  11. Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2009. "Comparing Greenbook and Reduced Form Forecasts Using a Large Realtime Dataset," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 468-479.
  12. Andrew Levin & Jeremy Piger, 2003. "Is Inflation Persistence Intrinsic in Industrial Economies?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 298, Society for Computational Economics.
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  14. Aiolfi, Marco & Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Persistence in forecasting performance and conditional combination strategies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 31-53.
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