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Bagging or Combining (or Both)? An Analysis Based on Forecasting U.S. Employment Growth

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  • David Rapach
  • Jack Strauss

Abstract

Forecasting a macroeconomic variable is challenging in an environment with many potential predictors whose predictive ability can vary over time. We compare two approaches to forecasting U.S. employment growth in this type of environment. The first approach applies bootstrap aggregating (bagging) to a general-to-specific procedure based on a general dynamic linear regression model with 30 potential predictors. The second approach considers several methods for combining forecasts from 30 individual autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) models, where each individual ARDL model contains a potential predictor. We analyze bagging and combination forecasts at multiple horizons over four different out-of-sample periods using a mean square forecast error (MSFE) criterion and forecast encompassing tests. We find that bagging forecasts often deliver the lowest MSFE. Interestingly, we also find that incorporating information from both bagging and combination forecasts based on principal components often leads to further gains in forecast accuracy.

Suggested Citation

  • David Rapach & Jack Strauss, 2010. "Bagging or Combining (or Both)? An Analysis Based on Forecasting U.S. Employment Growth," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(5-6), pages 511-533.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:emetrv:v:29:y:2010:i:5-6:p:511-533 DOI: 10.1080/07474938.2010.481550
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Burcu Gurcihan Yunculer & Gonul Sengul & Arzu Yavuz, 2014. "A Quest for Leading Indicators of the Turkish Unemployment Rate," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 14(1), pages 23-45.
    2. Rangan Gupta & Alain Kabundi & Stephen Miller & Josine Uwilingiye, 2014. "Using large data sets to forecast sectoral employment," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, pages 229-264.
    3. repec:eee:intfor:v:33:y:2017:i:4:p:894-914 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jordan, Steven J. & Vivian, Andrew & Wohar, Mark E., 2017. "Forecasting market returns: bagging or combining?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 102-120.
    5. Huiyu Huang & Tae-Hwy Lee, 2013. "Forecasting Value-at-Risk Using High-Frequency Information," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, June.
    6. Strauss, Jack, 2013. "Does housing drive state-level job growth? Building permits and consumer expectations forecast a state’s economic activity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 77-93.
    7. repec:eee:reveco:v:49:y:2017:i:c:p:276-291 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jordan, Steven J. & Vivian, Andrew & Wohar, Mark E., 2016. "Can commodity returns forecast Canadian sector stock returns?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 172-188.
    9. Aye, Goodness C. & Balcilar, Mehmet & Gupta, Rangan & Majumdar, Anandamayee, 2015. "Forecasting aggregate retail sales: The case of South Africa," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 66-79.
    10. Rapach, David E. & Strauss, Jack K., 2012. "Forecasting US state-level employment growth: An amalgamation approach," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 315-327.
    11. Karol Szafranek, 2017. "Bagged artificial neural networks in forecasting inflation: An extensive comparison with current modelling frameworks," NBP Working Papers 262, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    12. Rangan Gupta & Mampho P. Modise & Josine Uwilingiye, 2016. "Out-of-Sample Equity Premium Predictability in South Africa: Evidence from a Large Number of Predictors," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(8), pages 1935-1955, August.
    13. Kopoin, Alexandre & Moran, Kevin & Paré, Jean-Pierre, 2013. "Forecasting regional GDP with factor models: How useful are national and international data?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 267-270.

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