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Combine to compete: improving fiscal forecast accuracy over time

Author

Listed:
  • Laura Carabotta

    () (Facultat d'Economia i Empresa; Universitat de Barcelona (UB))

  • Peter Claeys

    () (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Abstract

Budget forecasts have become increasingly important as a tool of fiscal management to influence expectations of bond markets and the public at large. The inherent difficulty in projecting macroeconomic variables – together with political bias – thwart the accuracy of budget forecasts. We improve accuracy by combining the forecasts of both private and public agencies for Italy over the period 1993-2012. A weighted combined forecast of the deficit/ ratio is superior to any single forecast. Deficits are hard to predict due to shifting economic conditions and political events. We test and compare predictive accuracy over time and although a weighted combined forecast is robust to breaks, there is no significant improvement over a simple RW model.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Carabotta & Peter Claeys, 2015. "Combine to compete: improving fiscal forecast accuracy over time," UB Economics Working Papers 2015/320, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ewp:wpaper:320web
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dovern, Jonas & Weisser, Johannes, 2011. "Accuracy, unbiasedness and efficiency of professional macroeconomic forecasts: An empirical comparison for the G7," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 452-465.
    2. Teresa Leal & Javier J. Pérez & Mika Tujula & Jean-Pierre Vidal, 2008. "Fiscal Forecasting: Lessons from the Literature and Challenges," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(3), pages 347-386, September.
    3. Spyros Makridakis & Robert L. Winkler, 1983. "Averages of Forecasts: Some Empirical Results," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(9), pages 987-996, September.
    4. Makridakis, Spyros, 1989. "Why combining works?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 601-603.
    5. Roel Beetsma & Massimo Giuliodori, 2010. "Fiscal adjustment to cyclical developments in the OECD: an empirical analysis based on real-time data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(3), pages 419-441, July.
    6. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-735, September.
    7. G. Elliott & C. Granger & A. Timmermann (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of Economic Forecasting," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sabaj, Ernil & Kahveci, Mustafa, 2018. "Forecasting tax revenues in an emerging economy: The case of Albania," MPRA Paper 84404, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    deficit; forecast accuracy; fiscal forecasting; forecast comparison; forecast combination; fluctuation test.;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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