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Forecasting Macroeconomic Variables using Neural Network Models and Three Automated Model Selection Techniques

  • Anders Bredahl Kock

    ()

    (Aarhus University and CREATES)

  • Timo Teräsvirta

    ()

    (Aarhus University and CREATES)

In this paper we consider the forecasting performance of a well-defined class of flexible models, the so-called single hidden-layer feedforward neural network models. A major aim of our study is to find out whether they, due to their flexibility, are as useful tools in economic forecasting as some previous studies have indicated. When forecasting with neural network models one faces several problems, all of which influence the accuracy of the forecasts. First, neural networks are often hard to estimate due to their highly nonlinear structure. In fact, their parameters are not even globally identified. Recently, White (2006) presented a solution that amounts to converting the specification and nonlinear estimation problem into a linear model selection and estimation problem. He called this procedure the QuickNet and we shall compare its performance to two other procedures which are built on the linearisation idea: the Marginal Bridge Estimator and Autometrics. Second, one must decide whether forecasting should be carried out recursively or directly. Comparisons of these two methodss exist for linear models and here these comparisons are extended to neural networks. Finally, a nonlinear model such as the neural network model is not appropriate if the data is generated by a linear mechanism. Hence, it might be appropriate to test the null of linearity prior to building a nonlinear model. We investigate whether this kind of pretesting improves the forecast accuracy compared to the case where this is not done.

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Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series CREATES Research Papers with number 2011-27.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: 26 Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:create:2011-27
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

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  1. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2005. "A Comparison of Direct and Iterated Multistep AR Methods for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," CEPR Discussion Papers 4976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Raffaella Giacomini & Halbert White, 2006. "Tests of Conditional Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1545-1578, November.
  3. Kuan, Chung-Ming & Liu, Tung, 1995. "Forecasting Exchange Rates Using Feedforward and Recurrent Neural Networks," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 347-64, Oct.-Dec..
  4. Lee, Tae-Hwy & White, Halbert & Granger, Clive W. J., 1993. "Testing for neglected nonlinearity in time series models : A comparison of neural network methods and alternative tests," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 269-290, April.
  5. Timo Teräsvirta & Dick van Dijk & Marcelo Cunha Medeiros, 2004. "Linear models, smooth transition autoregressions and neural networks for forecasting macroeconomic time series: A reexamination," Textos para discussão 485, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
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  8. Anders Bredahl Kock & Timo Teräsvirta, 2010. "Forecasting with nonlinear time series models," CREATES Research Papers 2010-01, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  9. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
  10. Marcelo C. Medeiros & Timo Terasvirta & Gianluigi Rech, 2002. "Building Neural Network Models for Time Series: A Statistical Approach," Textos para discussão 461, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  11. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Novales, Alfonso, 2005. "Comments on: "Linear models, smooth transition autoregressions, and neural networks for forecasting macroeconomic time series: A re-examination"," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 775-780.
  13. Costantini, Mauro & Kunst, Robert M., 2011. "On the Usefulness of the Diebold-Mariano Test in the Selection of Prediction Models," Economics Series 276, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  14. Racine, Jeff, 2000. "Consistent cross-validatory model-selection for dependent data: hv-block cross-validation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 39-61, November.
  15. Klaus Nordhausen, 2009. "The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction, Second Edition by Trevor Hastie, Robert Tibshirani, Jerome Friedman," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 77(3), pages 482-482, December.
  16. Terasvirta, Timo & Tjostheim, Dag & Granger, Clive W. J., 2010. "Modelling Nonlinear Economic Time Series," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199587155, March.
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