IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Comparing the DSGE model with the factor model: an out-of-sample forecasting experiment


  • Mu-Chun Wang

    (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)


In this paper, we put dynamic stochastic general equilibrium DSGE forecasts in competition with factor forecasts. We focus on these two models since they represent nicely the two opposing forecasting philosophies. The DSGE model on the one hand has a strong theoretical economic background; the factor model on the other hand is mainly data-driven. We show that incorporating a large information set using factor analysis can indeed improve the short-horizon predictive ability, as claimed by many researchers. The micro-founded DSGE model can provide reasonable forecasts for US inflation, especially with growing forecast horizons. To a certain extent, our results are consistent with the prevailing view that simple time series models should be used in short-horizon forecasting and structural models should be used in long-horizon forecasting. Our paper compares both state-of-the-art data-driven and theory-based modelling in a rigorous manner. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Mu-Chun Wang, 2009. "Comparing the DSGE model with the factor model: an out-of-sample forecasting experiment," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 167-182.
  • Handle: RePEc:jof:jforec:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:167-182 DOI: 10.1002/for.1081

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2003. "Do financial variables help forecasting inflation and real activity in the euro area?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1243-1255, September.
    2. Raffaella Giacomini & Halbert White, 2006. "Tests of Conditional Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1545-1578, November.
    3. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2004. "The generalized dynamic factor model consistency and rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 231-255, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
    6. Christian Schumacher, 2007. "Forecasting German GDP using alternative factor models based on large datasets," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 271-302.
    7. West, Kenneth D, 1996. "Asymptotic Inference about Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1067-1084, September.
    8. Sandra Eickmeier & Christina Ziegler, 2008. "How successful are dynamic factor models at forecasting output and inflation? A meta-analytic approach," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 237-265.
    9. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-144, January.
    10. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    11. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-858, May.
    12. Frank Schorfheide, 2000. "Loss function-based evaluation of DSGE models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 645-670.
    13. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2003. "Macroeconomic forecasting in the Euro area: Country specific versus area-wide information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-18, February.
    14. Jean Boivin & Serena Ng, 2005. "Understanding and Comparing Factor-Based Forecasts," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(3), December.
    15. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Priors from General Equilibrium Models for VARS," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 643-673, May.
    16. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
    17. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2006. "Confidence Intervals for Diffusion Index Forecasts and Inference for Factor-Augmented Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 1133-1150, July.
    18. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
    19. Marc P. Giannoni & Jean Boivin, 2005. "DSGE Models in a Data-Rich Environment," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 431, Society for Computational Economics.
    20. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2004. "Forecasting with a Bayesian DSGE Model: An Application to the Euro Area," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 841-867, November.
    21. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
    22. Litterman, Robert B, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian Vector Autoregressions-Five Years of Experience," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, January.
    23. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    24. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-162, April.
    25. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Wieland, Volker & Wolters, Maik, 2013. "Forecasting and Policy Making," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    2. Lucia Alessi & Eric Ghysels & Luca Onorante & Richard Peach & Simon Potter, 2014. "Central Bank Macroeconomic Forecasting During the Global Financial Crisis: The European Central Bank and Federal Reserve Bank of New York Experiences," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 483-500, October.
    3. Maik H. Wolters, 2015. "Evaluating Point and Density Forecasts of DSGE Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 74-96, January.
    4. Gupta, Rangan & Kabundi, Alain, 2011. "A large factor model for forecasting macroeconomic variables in South Africa," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 1076-1088, October.
    5. Skrove Falch, Nina & Nymoen, Ragnar, 2011. "The accuracy of a forecast targeting central bank," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 5, pages 1-36.
    6. Raffaella Giacomini & Barbara Rossi, 2013. "Forecasting in macroeconomics," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Empirical Macroeconomics, chapter 17, pages 381-408 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Chauvet, Marcelle & Potter, Simon, 2013. "Forecasting Output," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    8. Stelios Bekiros & Alessia Paccagnini, 2013. "On the predictability of time-varying VAR and DSGE models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 635-664, August.
    9. Gupta, Rangan & Kabundi, Alain & Miller, Stephen M., 2011. "Forecasting the US real house price index: Structural and non-structural models with and without fundamentals," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 2013-2021, July.
    10. Poghosyan, K., 2012. "Structural and reduced-form modeling and forecasting with application to Armenia," Other publications TiSEM ad1a24c3-15e6-4f04-b338-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. Bušs, Ginters, 2009. "Comparing forecasts of Latvia's GDP using simple seasonal ARIMA models and direct versus indirect approach," MPRA Paper 16684, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Volker Wieland & Maik Wolters, 2011. "The diversity of forecasts from macroeconomic models of the US economy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 47(2), pages 247-292, June.
    13. Christoffel, Kai & Warne, Anders & Coenen, Günter, 2010. "Forecasting with DSGE models," Working Paper Series 1185, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jof:jforec:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:167-182. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.