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Measuring predictability: theory and macroeconomic applications

  • Francis X. Diebold

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297, USA, and National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, USA)

  • Lutz Kilian

    (Department of Economics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220, USA, and Centre for Economic Policy Research, London, UK)

We propose a measure of predictability based on the ratio of the expected loss of a short-run forecast to the expected loss of a long-run forecast. This predictability measure can be tailored to the forecast horizons of interest, and it allows for general loss functions, univariate or multivariate information sets, and covariance stationary or difference stationary processes. We propose a simple estimator, and we suggest resampling methods for inference. We then provide several macroeconomic applications. First, we illustrate the implementation of predictability measures based on fitted parametric models for several US macroeconomic time series. Second, we analyze the internal propagation mechanism of a standard dynamic macroeconomic model by comparing the predictability of model inputs and model outputs. Third, we use predictability as a metric for assessing the similarity of data simulated from the model and actual data. Finally, we outline several non-parametric extensions of our approach. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca:80/jae/2001-v16.6/
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2001)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 657-669

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:16:y:2001:i:6:p:657-669
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  1. Singleton, Kenneth J., 1988. "Econometric issues in the analysis of equilibrium business cycle models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 361-386.
  2. Christoffersen & Diebold, . "Optimal Prediction Under Asymmetric Loss," Home Pages 167, 1996., University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Kilian, Lutz, 2001. "Impulse Response Analysis in Vector Autoregressions with Unknown Lag Order," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 161-79, April.
  4. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M., 1995. "Effects of the Hodrick-Prescott filter on trend and difference stationary time series Implications for business cycle research," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 253-278.
  5. Francis X. Diebold & Lee E. Ohanian & Jeremy Berkowitz, 1995. "Dynamic Equilibrium Economies: A Framework for Comparing Models and Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  7. Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian, 2002. "Bootstrapping Smooth Functions of Slope Parameters and Innovation Variances in VAR (∞) Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 309-332, May.
  8. Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian, 2000. "Bootstrapping Autoregressive Processes with Possible Unit Roots," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0401, Econometric Society.
  9. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M, 1995. "Output Dynamics in Real-Business-Cycle Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 492-511, June.
  10. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-617, December.
  11. King, Robert G & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Money, Prices, Interest Rates and the Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 35-53, February.
  12. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1995. "Inflation Indicators and Inflation Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 189-236 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Francis X. Diebold & Marc Nerlove, 1988. "Unit roots in economic time series: a selective survey," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Diebold, F.X. & Kilian, L. & Nerlove, Marc, 2006. "Time Series Analysis," Working Papers 28556, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  15. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  16. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-47, July-Sept.
  17. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  19. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
  20. repec:cup:etheor:v:13:y:1997:i:6:p:808-17 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Robert B. Barsky, 1986. "The Fisher Hypothesis and the Forecastability and Persistence of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 1927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  23. Laurence Ball & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1990. "Inflation and Uncertainty at Long and Short Horizons," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 215-254.
  24. Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1995. "Let's Get Real: A Dynamic Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Christoffersen & Diebold, . "Further Results on Forecasting and Model Selection Under Asymmetric Loss," Home Pages _059, University of Pennsylvania.
  26. Diebold, Francis X & Senhadji, Abdelhak S, 1996. "The Uncertain Unit Root in Real GNP: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1291-98, December.
  27. Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1996. "Real-Business-Cycle Models and the Forecastable Movements in Output, Hours, and Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 71-89, March.
  28. Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Small-Sample Confidence Intervals For Impulse Response Functions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 218-230, May.
  29. Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Confidence intervals for impulse responses under departures from normality," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-29.
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