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Assessing the Macroeconomic Forecasting Performance of Boosting - Evidence for the United States, the Euro Area, and Germany

  • Teresa Buchen


  • Klaus Wohlrabe


The use of large datasets for macroeconomic forecasting has received a great deal of interest recently. Boosting is one possible method of using high-dimensional data for this purpose. It is a stage-wise additive modelling procedure, which, in a linear specification, becomes a variable selection device that iteratively adds the predictors with the largest contribution to the fit. Using data for the United States, the euro area and Germany, we assess the performance of boosting when forecasting a wide range of macroeconomic variables. Moreover, we analyse to what extent its forecasting accuracy depends on the method used for determining its key regularisation parameter, the number of iterations. We find that boosting mostly outperforms the autoregressive benchmark, and that K-fold cross-validation works much better as stopping criterion than the commonly used information criteria.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4148.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4148
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  1. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Luca Sala, 2005. "Monetary policy in real time," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6401, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    • Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Luca Sala, 2005. "Monetary Policy in Real Time," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 161-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Julián Andrada-Félix & Fernando Fernández-Rodr�guez, 2008. "Improving moving average trading rules with boosting and statistical learning methods," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 433-449.
  3. Andrea Carriero & George Kapetanios & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2009. "Forecasting Large Datasets with Bayesian Reduced Rank Multivariate Models," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/31, European University Institute.
  4. Fabio Trojani, 2007. "Accurate Short-Term Yield Curve Forecasting using Functional Gradient Descent," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 5(4), pages 591-623, Fall.
  5. Audrino, Francesco & Barone-Adesi, Giovanni, 2005. "Functional gradient descent for financial time series with an application to the measurement of market risk," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 959-977, April.
  6. Steffen Henzel & Malte Rengel, 2013. "Dimensions of macroeconomic uncertainty: A common factor analysis," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 167, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  7. Kim, Hyun Hak & Swanson, Norman R., 2014. "Forecasting financial and macroeconomic variables using data reduction methods: New empirical evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P2), pages 352-367.
  8. Buchen, Teresa & Wohlrabe, Klaus, 2010. "Forecasting with many predictors - Is boosting a viable alternative?," Discussion Papers in Economics 11788, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Nikolay Robinzonov & Gerhard Tutz & Torsten Hothorn, 2012. "Boosting techniques for nonlinear time series models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 99-122, January.
  10. Jana Eklund & George Kapetanios, 2008. "A Review of Forecasting Techniques for Large Data Sets," Working Papers 625, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  11. Katja Drechsel & R. Scheufele, 2013. "Bottom-up or Direct? Forecasting German GDP in a Data-rich Environment," IWH Discussion Papers 7, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  12. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2009. "Boosting diffusion indices," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 607-629.
  13. Shafik, Nivien & Tutz, Gerhard, 2009. "Boosting nonlinear additive autoregressive time series," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 2453-2464, May.
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