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Categorical Forecasts and Non-Categorical Loss Functions

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  • Constantin Bürgi
  • Dorine Boumans

Abstract

This paper introduces a new test of the predictive performance and market timing for categorical forecasts based on contingency tables when the user has non-categorical loss functions. For example, a user might be interested in the return of an underlying variable instead of just the direction. This new test statistic can also be used to determine whether directional forecasts are derived from non-directional forecasts and whether point forecast have predictive value when transformed into directional forecasts. The tests are applied to the categorical exchange rate forecasts in the ifo-Institute’s World Economic Survey and to the point forecasts for quarterly GDP in the Philadelphia Fed's Survey of Professional Forecasters. We find that the loss function matters as exchange rate forecasters perform better under non-categorical loss functions, and the GDP forecasts have value up to two quarters ahead.

Suggested Citation

  • Constantin Bürgi & Dorine Boumans, 2020. "Categorical Forecasts and Non-Categorical Loss Functions," CESifo Working Paper Series 8266, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8266
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp8266.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    5. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1992. "A Simple Nonparametric Test of Predictive Performance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(4), pages 561-565, October.
    6. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-144, January.
    7. Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. I. An Equilibrium Theory of Value for Market Forecasts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 363-406, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    contingency tables; categorical forecast; profitability; World Economic Survey; directional accuracy; market timing; forecast value;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • F37 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Finance Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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