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Macroeconomic forecasting and structural change

  • Gambetti, Luca
  • D’Agostino, Antonello
  • Giannone, Domenico

The aim of this paper is to assess whether explicitly modeling structural change increases the accuracy of macroeconomic forecasts. We produce real time out-of-sample forecasts for inflation, the unemployment rate and the interest rate using a Time-Varying Coefficients VAR with Stochastic Volatility (TV-VAR) for the US. The model generates accurate predictions for the three variables. In particular for inflation the TV-VAR outperforms, in terms of mean square forecast error, all the competing models: fixed coefficients VARs, Time-Varying ARs and the na¨ıve random walk model. These results are also shown to hold over the most recent period in which it has been hard to forecast inflation. JEL Classification: C32, E37, E47

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1167.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101167
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  1. Tatevik Sekhposyan & Barbara Rossi, 2008. "Has modelsí forecasting performance for US output growth and inflation changed over time, and when?," Working Papers 09-02, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  3. D'Agostino, Antonello & Domenico, Giannone & Surico, Paolo, 2006. "(Un)Predictability and Macroeconomic Stability," Research Technical Papers 5/RT/06, Central Bank of Ireland.
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  15. Canova, Fabio, 2007. "G-7 Inflation Forecasts: Random Walk, Phillips Curve Or What Else?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 1-30, February.
  16. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2006. "Forecasting of small macroeconomic VARs in the presence of instabilities," Research Working Paper RWP 06-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  17. Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Explaining The Great Moderation: It Is Not The Shocks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 621-633, 04-05.
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