Approximate Nonlinear Forecasting Methods
We review key aspects of forecasting using nonlinear models. Because economic models are typically misspecified, the resulting forecasts provide only an approximation to the best possible forecast. Although it is in principle possible to obtain superior approximations to the optimal forecast using nonlinear methods, there are some potentially serious practical challenges. Primary among these are computational difficulties, the dangers of overfit, and potential difficulties of interpretation. In this chapter we discuss these issues in detail. Then we propose and illustrate the use of a new family of methods (QuickNet) that achieves the benefits of using a forecasting model that is nonlinear in the predictors while avoiding or mitigating the other challenges to the use of nonlinear forecasting methods.
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