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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. 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.
  2. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & David H Small, 2007. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real-Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 164, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  3. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Elliott, Graham & Timmermann, Allan, 2002. "Optimal Forecast Combination Under General Loss Functions and Forecast Error Distributions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt15r9t2q2, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. Anthony Garratt & Gary Koop & Shaun P. Vahey, 2006. "Forecasting Substantial Data Revisions in the Presence of Model Uncertainty," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0617, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  7. D'Agostino, Antonello & Domenico, Giannone & Surico, Paolo, 2006. "(Un)Predictability and Macroeconomic Stability," Research Technical Papers 5/RT/06, Central Bank of Ireland.
  8. Aiolfi, Marco & Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Persistence in forecasting performance and conditional combination strategies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 31-53.
  9. Kapetanios, G. & Labhard, V. & Price, S., 2007. "Forecasting using Bayesian and information theoretic model averaging: an application to UK inflation," Working Papers 07/15, Department of Economics, City University London.
  10. Jeremy Smith & Kenneth F. Wallis, 2009. "A Simple Explanation of the Forecast Combination Puzzle," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(3), pages 331-355, 06.
  11. Andrew T. Levin & Jeremy M. Piger, 2003. "Is inflation persistence intrinsic in industrial economies?," Working Papers 2002-023, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  12. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2009. "Improving Forecast Accuracy By Combining Recursive And Rolling Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 363-395, 05.
  13. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2010. "Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 5-29.
  14. Hansen, Bruce E., 2008. "Least-squares forecast averaging," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 342-350, October.
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