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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2010-033
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  1. Kapetanios, G. & Labhard, V. & Price, S., 2007. "Forecasting using Bayesian and information theoretic model averaging: an application to UK inflation," Working Papers 07/15, Department of Economics, City University London.
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  4. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & David H Small, 2007. "Nowcasting GDP and Inflation: The Real-Time Informational Content of Macroeconomic Data Releases," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 164, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  6. Hansen, Bruce E., 2008. "Least-squares forecast averaging," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 342-350, October.
  7. Andrew T. Levin & Jeremy M. Piger, 2003. "Is inflation persistence intrinsic in industrial economies?," Working Papers 2002-023, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2006. "Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities," Research Working Paper RWP 06-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  9. 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.
  10. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2008. "Improving forecast accuracy by combining recursive and rolling forecasts," Working Papers 2008-028, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  11. 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.
  12. Christian Kascha & Francesco Ravazzolo, 2008. "Combining inflation density forecasts," Working Paper 2008/22, Norges Bank.
  13. 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.
  14. Aiolfi, Marco & Timmermann, Allan, 2006. "Persistence in forecasting performance and conditional combination strategies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 31-53.
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