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Are Forecast Combinations Efficient?

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  • Pablo Pincheira

Abstract

It is well known that weighted averages of two competing forecasts may reduce Mean Squared Prediction Errors (MSPE) and may also introduce certain inefficiencies. In this paper we take an in-depth view of one particular type of inefficiency stemming from simple combination schemes. We identify testable conditions under which every linear convex combination of two forecasts displays this type of inefficiency. In particular, we show that the process of taking averages of forecasts may induce inefficiencies in the combination, even when the individual forecasts are efficient. Furthermore, we show that the so-called "optimal weighted average" traditionally presented in the literature may indeed be suboptimal. We propose a simple testable condition to detect if this traditional weighted factor is optimal in a broader sense. An optimal "recombination weight" is introduced. Finally, we illustrate our findings with simulations and an empirical application in the context of the combination of inflation forecasts.

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  • Pablo Pincheira, 2012. "Are Forecast Combinations Efficient?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 661, Central Bank of Chile.
  • Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:661
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Poncela, Pilar & Rodríguez, Julio & Sánchez-Mangas, Rocío & Senra, Eva, 2011. "Forecast combination through dimension reduction techniques," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 224-237, April.
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    5. Clements, Michael P. & Harvey, David I., 2011. "Combining probability forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 208-223, April.
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    9. Capistrán, Carlos & Timmermann, Allan, 2009. "Forecast Combination With Entry and Exit of Experts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 428-440.
    10. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, Paul, 1986. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780122951831 edited by Shell, Karl.
    11. Mauro Costantini & Robert M. Kunst, 2011. "Combining forecasts based on multiple encompassing tests in a macroeconomic core system," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(6), pages 579-596, September.
    12. Pincheira, Pablo & García, Álvaro, 2012. "En busca de un buen marco de referencia predictivo para la inflación en Chile," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(313), pages 85-123, enero-mar.
    13. Diebold, Francis X, 1988. "Serial Correlation and the Combination of Forecasts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 6(1), pages 105-111, January.
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    15. Aiolfi, Marco & Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Persistence in forecasting performance and conditional combination strategies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 31-53.
    16. Pablo Matias Pincheira Brown, 2013. "Shrinkage‐Based Tests of Predictability," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(4), pages 307-332, July.
    17. Halbert White, 2000. "A Reality Check for Data Snooping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1097-1126, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Jorge A. Fornero & Jordi Galí, 2013. "Non-Ricardian Aspects of Fiscal Policy in Chile," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Luis Felipe Céspedes & Jordi Galí (ed.), Fiscal Policy and Macroeconomic Performance, edition 1, volume 17, chapter 8, pages 283-322 Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Pablo M. Pincheira & Carlos A. Medel, 2015. "Forecasting Inflation with a Simple and Accurate Benchmark: The Case of the US and a Set of Inflation Targeting Countries," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 65(1), pages 2-29, January.
    3. Pablo Pincheira & Carlos A. Medel, 2012. "Forecasting Inflation with a Simple and Accurate Benchmark: a Cross-Country Analysis," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 677, Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Pablo Pincheira, 2012. "A Joint Test of Superior Predictive Ability for Chilean Inflation Forecasts," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 15(3), pages 04-39, December.

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