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Real-time forecast averaging with ALFRED

  • Chanont Banternghansa
  • Michael W. McCracken

This paper presents empirical evidence on the efficacy of forecast averaging using the ALFRED real-time database. We consider averages taken over a variety of different bivariate VAR models that are distinguished from one another based upon at least one of the following: which variables are used as predictors, the number of lags, using all available data or data after the Great Moderation, the observation window used to estimate the model parameters and construct averaging weights, and for forecast horizons greater than one, whether or not iterated- or direct-multistep methods are used. A variety of averaging methods are considered. Our results indicate that the benefits to model averaging relative to BIC-based model selection are highly dependent upon the class of models being averaged over. We provide a novel decomposition of the forecast improvements that allows us to determine which types of averaging methods and models were most (and least) useful in the averaging process.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2010-033.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2010-033
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  1. D’Agostino, Antonello & Giannone, Domenico & Surico, Paolo, 2006. "(Un)Predictability and macroeconomic stability," Working Paper Series 0605, European Central Bank.
  2. Jeremy Smith & Kenneth F. Wallis, 2009. "A Simple Explanation of the Forecast Combination Puzzle," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(3), pages 331-355, 06.
  3. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2004. "Improving forecast accuracy by combining recursive and rolling forecasts," Research Working Paper RWP 04-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  4. Christian Kascha & Francesco Ravazzolo, 2010. "Combining inflation density forecasts," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1-2), pages 231-250.
  5. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Small, David, 2008. "Nowcasting: The real-time informational content of macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 665-676, May.
  6. Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2009. "Comparing Greenbook and Reduced Form Forecasts Using a Large Realtime Dataset," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 468-479.
  7. Aiolfi, Marco & Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Persistence in forecasting performance and conditional combination strategies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 31-53.
  8. George Kapetanios & Vincent Labhard & Simon Price, 2005. "Forecasting using Bayesian and information theoretic model averaging: an application to UK inflation," Bank of England working papers 268, Bank of England.
  9. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2007. "Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Anthony Garratt & Gary Koop & ShaunP. Vahey, 2008. "Forecasting Substantial Data Revisions in the Presence of Model Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1128-1144, 07.
  11. Elliott, Graham & Timmermann, Allan, 2002. "Optimal Forecast Combination Under General Loss Functions and Forecast Error Distributions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt15r9t2q2, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  12. Andrew Levin & Jeremy Piger, 2003. "Is Inflation Persistence Intrinsic in Industrial Economies?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 298, Society for Computational Economics.
  13. Hansen, Bruce E., 2008. "Least-squares forecast averaging," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 342-350, October.
  14. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-69, June.
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