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The big problem of forecasting small change

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  • David Griffiths

Abstract

The United States Mint recently reviewed approaches to forecasting the demand for new coin. This paper reports on methods used to determine fundamental attributes of the data, and uses these to help better determine appropriate model specification in order to better plan coin production. In particular, the debate regarding trend versus difference stationarity in macroeconomic trending data is considered. The interest in the present paper is limited to applying a well known unit root test procedure to an untested macrodata set - changes in US Coin demand - to see whether the test is useful in guiding the specification to improved forecast performance. It is found that the forecast results are somewhat sensitive to the way in which the data are seasonally adjusted, and lessons learned from this 'case study' indicate that unit root tests are useful in guiding model specification.

Suggested Citation

  • David Griffiths, 2004. "The big problem of forecasting small change," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(19), pages 2195-2207.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:36:y:2004:i:19:p:2195-2207
    DOI: 10.1080/0003684042000306932
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Neil R. Ericsson, 2001. "Forecast uncertainty in economic modeling," International Finance Discussion Papers 697, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. John Y. Campbell & Pierre Perron, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know About Unit Roots," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 141-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Peter C.B. Phillips & Sam Ouliaris & Joon Y. Park, 1988. "Testing for a Unit Root in the Presence of a Maintained Trend," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 880, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. Michael P. Clements & David F.Hendry, 2001. "Forecasting with difference-stationary and trend-stationary models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19.
    5. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1987. "Are Output Fluctuations Transitory?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 857-880.
    6. Diebold, Francis X & Kilian, Lutz, 2000. "Unit-Root Tests Are Useful for Selecting Forecasting Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(3), pages 265-273, July.
    7. Sargent, Thomas J & Velde, Francois R, 1999. "The Big Problem of Small Change," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 137-161, May.
    8. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
    9. Dolado, Juan J & Jenkinson, Tim & Sosvilla-Rivero, Simon, 1990. " Cointegration and Unit Roots," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 249-273.
    10. Ghysels, Eric & Perron, Pierre, 1993. "The effect of seasonal adjustment filters on tests for a unit root," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1-2), pages 57-98.
    11. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
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