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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
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Handle: RePEc:cla:uclawp:845
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.ucla.edu/

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  1. Clements,Michael & Hendry,David, 1998. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632423, December.
  2. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  4. 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.
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  7. Pesaran, M Hashem & Pettenuzzo, Davide & Timmermann, Allan G, 2004. "Forecasting Time Series Subject to Multiple Structural Breaks," CEPR Discussion Papers 4636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Rossi, Barbara, 2002. "Optimal Tests for Nested Model Selection with Underlying Parameter Instability," Working Papers 02-05, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  9. Michael W. McCracken & Todd E. Clark, 2003. "The Predictive Content of the Output Gap for Inflation: Resolving In-Sample and Out-of-Sample Evidence," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 183, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Peter F. Christoffersen & Francis X. Diebold, 1994. "Optimal Prediction Under Asymmetric Loss," NBER Technical Working Papers 0167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 817-58, May.
  14. West, Kenneth D, 1996. "Asymptotic Inference about Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1067-84, September.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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  19. repec:cup:etheor:v:11:y:1995:i:4:p:699-720 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. repec:cup:etheor:v:13:y:1997:i:6:p:808-17 is not listed on IDEAS
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