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Point and Density Forecasts for the Euro Area Using Many Predictors: Are Large BVARs Really Superior?

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  • Tim Oliver Berg
  • Steffen Henzel

Abstract

Forecast models with large cross-sections are often subject to overparameterization leading to unstable parameter estimates and hence inaccurate forecasts. Recent articles suggest that a large Bayesian vector autoregression (BVAR) with sufficient prior information dominates competing approaches. In this paper we evaluate the forecast performance of large BVAR in comparison to its most natural competitors, i.e. averaging of small-scale BVARs and factor augmented BVARs with and without shrinkage. We derive point and density forecasts for euro area real GDP growth and HICP inflation conditional on an information set which is appropriate for all approaches and find no consistent outperformance of the large BVAR. While it produces good point forecasts, the performance is poor when density forecasts are used to evaluate predictive ability. Moreover, the ranking of the different approaches depends inter alia on the target variable, the forecast horizon, the state of the business cycle, and on the size of the dataset. Overall, we find that a factor augmented BVAR with shrinkage is competitive in all setups.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Oliver Berg & Steffen Henzel, 2013. "Point and Density Forecasts for the Euro Area Using Many Predictors: Are Large BVARs Really Superior?," ifo Working Paper Series 155, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_155
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    Cited by:

    1. Maik H. Wolters, 2015. "Evaluating Point and Density Forecasts of DSGE Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(1), pages 74-96, January.
    2. repec:bpj:sndecm:v:21:y:2017:i:2:p:29:n:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Tim Oliver Berg, 2016. "Multivariate Forecasting with BVARs and DSGE Models," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(8), pages 718-740, December.
    4. Timo Wollmershäuser & Wolfgang Nierhaus & Tim Oliver Berg & Christian Breuer & Johanna Garnitz & Christian Grimme & Atanas Hristov & Nikolay Hristov & Wolfgang Meister & Magnus Reif & Felix Schröter &, 2015. "ifo Konjunkturprognose 2015/2017: Verhaltener Aufschwung setzt sich fort," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(24), pages 23-66, December.
    5. Mandalinci, Zeyyad, 2017. "Forecasting inflation in emerging markets: An evaluation of alternative models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 1082-1104.
    6. Pirschel, Inske & Wolters, Maik H., 2014. "Forecasting German key macroeconomic variables using large dataset methods," Kiel Working Papers 1925, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Robert Lehmann & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2016. "Boosting und die Prognose der deutschen Industrieproduktion: Was verrät uns der Blick in die Details?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 69(03), pages 30-33, February.
    8. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1128-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Berg Tim Oliver, 2017. "Forecast accuracy of a BVAR under alternative specifications of the zero lower bound," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 21(2), pages 1-29, April.
    10. Boris B. Demeshev & Oxana A. Malakhovskaya, 2015. "Forecasting Russian Macroeconomic Indicators with BVAR," HSE Working papers WP BRP 105/EC/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    11. Steffen Henzel & Robert Lehmann & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2015. "Die Machbarkeit von Kurzfristprognosen für den Freistaat Sachsen," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 22(04), pages 21-25, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bayesian vector autoregression; forecasting; model validation; large crosssection; euro area;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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