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Have Structural Changes Eliminated the Out-of-Sample Ability of Financial Variables To Forecast Real Activity After the Mid-1980s? Evidence From the Canadian Economy

  • Akhter Faroque


    (Department of Economics, Laurentian University)

  • William Veloce


    (Department of Economics, Brock University)

  • Jean-Francois Lamarche


    (Department of Economics, Brock University)

The paper evaluates the reliability of the information content of individual financial variables for Canada’s future output growth. We estimate the timing of structural changes in linear growth models and check robustness to specification changes, multiple breaks, and business cycle asymmetry. Our out-of-sample forecast evaluation using the MSE-F and the ENC-NEW tests show that the leading information content of most financial variables has deteriorated after 1984:4, but the 1-3 year term spread exhibits a consistently reliable predictive ability at the 1 and 2 quarter horizons and has significant forecasting ability at the 8 quarter horizon. Also, the real M1 money growth has regained its ability to forecast output growth since 1991:1.

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Paper provided by Brock University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0910.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision: Oct 2010
Publication status: Forthcoming in Applied Economics
Handle: RePEc:brk:wpaper:0910
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  1. Campbell R. Harvey, 1997. "The Relation between the Term Structure of Interest Rates and Canadian Economic Growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(1), pages 169-93, February.
  2. 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.
  3. Bruce E. Hansen, 1998. "Testing for Structural Change in Conditional Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 310., Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. repec:att:wimass:9220 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Rossi, Barbara, 2002. "Optimal Tests for Nested Model Selection with Underlying Parameter Instability," Working Papers 02-05, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  6. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2001. "Forecasting output and inflation: the role of asset prices," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  7. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Evidence on Structural Instability in Macroeconomic Time Series Relations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(1), pages 11-30, January.
  8. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
  10. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  11. Pierre L. Siklos & Andrew G. Barton, 2001. "Monetary aggregates as indicators of economic activity in Canada: empirical evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 1-17, February.
  12. West, Kenneth D, 1996. "Asymptotic Inference about Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1067-84, September.
  13. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2005. "The power of tests of predictive ability in the presence of structural breaks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 1-31, January.
  14. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
  15. David E. Rapach & Christian E. Weber, 2004. "Financial Variables and the Simulated Out-of-Sample Forecastability of U.S. Output Growth Since 1985: An Encompassing Approach," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 717-738, October.
  16. WenShwo Fang & Stephen M. Miller & ChunShen Lee, 2007. "Cross-Country Evidence on Output Growth Volatility: Nonstationary Variance and GARCH Models," Working papers 2007-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2008.
  17. Tracy Chan & Ramdane Djoudad & Jackson Loi, 2005. "Changes in the Indicator Properties of Narrow Monetary Aggregates," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2005(Summer), pages 3-10.
  18. Marianne Sensier & Dick van Dijk, 2004. "Testing for Volatility Changes in U.S. Macroeconomic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 833-839, August.
  19. Rocco Huang & Lev Ratnovski, 2009. "Why Are Canadian Banks More Resilient?," IMF Working Papers 09/152, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1997. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Research Paper 9735, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  21. Kenneth D. West & Whitney K. Newey, 1995. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Duguay, Pierre, 1994. "Empirical evidence on the strength of the monetary transmission mechanism in Canada: An aggregate approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 39-61, February.
  23. 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.
  24. Kenneth S. Rogoff & Vania Stavrakeva, 2008. "The Continuing Puzzle of Short Horizon Exchange Rate Forecasting," NBER Working Papers 14071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Jushan Bai, 1997. "Estimation Of A Change Point In Multiple Regression Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 551-563, November.
  26. David E. Rapach & Mark E. Wohar, 2006. "Structural Breaks and Predictive Regression Models of Aggregate U.S. Stock Returns," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 4(2), pages 238-274.
  27. Christis Hassapis, 2003. "Financial variables and real activity in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 421-442, May.
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