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Detecting and Predicting Forecast Breakdowns

  • Raffella Giacomini

    (University of California)

  • Barbara Rossi

    (Los Angeles)

We propose a theoretical framework for assessing whether a forecast model estimated over one period can provide good forecasts over a subsequent period. We formalize this idea by defining a forecast breakdown as a situation in which the out-of-sample performance of the model, judged by some loss function, is significantly worse than its in-sample performance. Our framework, which is valid under general conditions, can be used not only to detect past forecast breakdowns but also to predict future ones. We show that main causes of forecast breakdowns are instabilities in the data generating process and relate the properties of our forecast breakdown test to those of existing structural break tests. The empirical application finds evidence of a forecast breakdown in the Phillips’ curve forecasts of U.S. inflation, and links it to inflation volatility and to changes in the monetary policy reaction function of the Fed. JEL Classification: C22, C52, C53

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series UCLA Economics Working Papers with number 845.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cla:uclawp:845
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  1. 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.
  2. Rossi, Barbara, 2005. "Optimal Tests For Nested Model Selection With Underlying Parameter Instability," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(05), pages 962-990, October.
  3. West, Kenneth D, 1996. "Asymptotic Inference about Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1067-84, September.
  4. Ghysels, Eric & Hall, Alastair, 1990. "A Test for Structural Stability of Euler Conditions Parameters Estimated via the Generalized Method of Moments Estimator," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 355-64, May.
  5. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Pettenuzzo, Davide & Timmermann, Allan, 2004. "Forecasting Time Series Subject to Multiple Structural Breaks," IZA Discussion Papers 1196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  8. Clements,Michael & Hendry,David, 1998. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632423, October.
  9. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  10. Ivo Welch & Amit Goyal, 2008. "A Comprehensive Look at The Empirical Performance of Equity Premium Prediction," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1455-1508, July.
  11. Chu, Chia-Shang James & Hornik, Kurt & Kuan, Chung-Ming, 1995. "The Moving-Estimates Test for Parameter Stability," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(04), pages 699-720, August.
  12. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  13. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2006. "The Predictive Content of the Output Gap for Inflation: Resolving In-Sample and Out-of-Sample Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1127-1148, August.
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  15. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
  16. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
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  18. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1988. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 877R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 1989.
  19. Hansen, Bruce E., 2000. "Testing for structural change in conditional models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 93-115, July.
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  22. Jonas D. M. Fisher & Chin Te Liu & Ruilin Zhou, 2002. "When can we forecast inflation?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 32-44.
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