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Improving forecasts of the federal funds rate in a policy model

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  • John C. Robertson
  • Ellis W. Tallman

Abstract

Vector autoregression (VAR) models are widely used for policy analysis. Some authors caution, however, that the forecast errors of the federal funds rate from such a VAR are large compared to those from the federal funds futures market. From these findings, it is argued that the inaccurate federal funds rate forecasts from VARs limit their usefulness as a tool for guiding policy decisions. In this paper, we demonstrate that the poor forecast performance is largely eliminated if a Bayesian estimation technique is used instead of OLS. In particular, using two different data sets we show that the forecasts from the Bayesian VAR dominate the forecasts from OLS VAR models?even after imposing various exact exclusion restrictions on lags and levels of the data.

Suggested Citation

  • John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Improving forecasts of the federal funds rate in a policy model," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 99-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:99-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Charles L. Evans & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1998. "Can VAR's describe monetary policy?," Working Paper Series WP-98-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. Christopher A. Sims, 1993. "A Nine-Variable Probabilistic Macroeconomic Forecasting Model," NBER Chapters, in: Business Cycles, Indicators, and Forecasting, pages 179-212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Litterman, Robert B, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian Vector Autoregressions-Five Years of Experience," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 4(1), pages 25-38, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gossé, Jean-Baptiste & Guillaumin, Cyriac, 2013. "L’apport de la représentation VAR de Christopher A. Sims à la science économique," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 89(4), pages 309-319, Décembre.
    2. Summers, Peter M., 2001. "Forecasting Australia's economic performance during the Asian crisis," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 499-515.
    3. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Prior parameter uncertainty: Some implications for forecasting and policy analysis with VAR models," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 99-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    4. Nicholson, William B. & Matteson, David S. & Bien, Jacob, 2017. "VARX-L: Structured regularization for large vector autoregressions with exogenous variables," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 627-651.
    5. Peter Anker, 2001. "ECB monetary policy and the DM-dollar exchange rate: evidence from a Bayesian VAR," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(12), pages 1553-1562.
    6. Kjellberg, David, 2006. "Measuring Expectations," Working Paper Series 2006:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

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