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How Costly is it to Ignore Breaks when Forecasting the Direction of a Time Series?

  • Allan Timmermann
  • M. Hashem Pesaran

Empirical evidence suggests that many macroeconomic and financial time series are subject to occasional structural breaks. In this paper we present analytical results quantifying the effects of such breaks on the correlation between the forecast and the realization and on the ability to forecast the sign or direction of a time-series that is subject to breaks. Our results suggest that it can be very costly to ignore breaks. Forecasting approaches that condition on the most recent break are likely to perform better over unconditional approaches that use expanding or rolling estimation windows provided that the break is reasonably large.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 875.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_875
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  1. M. Hashem Pesaran & Allan Timmermann, 2002. "Market timing and return prediction under model instability," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24932, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Garcia, R. & Perron, P., 1994. "An Analysis of the Real Interest rate Under Regime Shifts," Cahiers de recherche 9428, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  3. 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.
  4. Clements, Michael P. & Hendry, David F., 1998. "Forecasting economic processes," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 111-131, March.
  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 561-65, October.
  6. Andrews, Donald W. K. & Lee, Inpyo & Ploberger, Werner, 1996. "Optimal changepoint tests for normal linear regression," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 9-38, January.
  7. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1994. "Evidence on structural instability in macroeconomic times series relations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Allan Timmermann, 2000. "Firm Size and Cyclical Variations in Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1229-1262, 06.
  9. Ploberger, Werner & Kramer, Walter & Kontrus, Karl, 1989. "A new test for structural stability in the linear regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 307-318, February.
  10. Hansen, Bruce E, 1992. "Tests for Parameter Instability in Regressions with I(1) Processes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 321-35, July.
  11. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
  12. Timmermann, Allan & Granger, Clive W. J., 2004. "Efficient market hypothesis and forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 15-27.
  13. 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.
  14. Henriksson, Roy D & Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. II. Statistical Procedures for Evaluating Forecasting Skills," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 513-33, October.
  15. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
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  17. Leitch, Gordon & Tanner, J Ernest, 1991. "Economic Forecast Evaluation: Profits versus the Conventional Error Measures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 580-90, June.
  18. Timmermann, Allan, 2001. "Structural Breaks, Incomplete Information and Stock Prices," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1sn269d7, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  19. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521634809 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Gray, Stephen F., 1996. "Modeling the conditional distribution of interest rates as a regime-switching process," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-62, September.
  21. Granger, C.W.J. & Pesaran, M. H., 1999. "Economic and Statistical Measures of Forecast Accuracy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9910, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  22. Chib, Siddhartha, 1998. "Estimation and comparison of multiple change-point models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 221-241, June.
  23. Sola, M. & Driffill, J., 1992. "Testing the term structure of interest rates from a stationary switching Regime VAR," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9202, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  24. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert, 2002. "Regime Switches in Interest Rates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 163-82, April.
  25. Chu, Chia-Shang James & Stinchcombe, Maxwell & White, Halbert, 1996. "Monitoring Structural Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1045-65, September.
  26. Alogoskoufis, George S & Smith, Ron, 1991. "The Phillips Curve, the Persistence of Inflation, and the Lucas Critique: Evidence from Exchange-Rate Regimes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1254-75, December.
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