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Forecasting in large macroeconomic panels using Bayesian Model Averaging

  • Gary Koop
  • Simon Potter

This paper considers the problem of forecasting in large macroeconomic panels using Bayesian model averaging. Practical methods for implementing Bayesian model averaging with factor models are described. These methods involve algorithms that simulate from the space defined by all possible models. We explain how these simulation algorithms can also be used to select the model with the highest marginal likelihood (or highest value of an information criterion) in an efficient manner. We apply these methods to the problem of forecasting GDP and inflation using quarterly U.S. data on 162 time series. Our analysis indicates that models containing factors do outperform autoregressive models in forecasting both GDP and inflation, but only narrowly and at short horizons. We attribute these findings to the presence of structural instability and the fact that lags of the dependent variable seem to contain most of the information relevant for forecasting.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 163.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:163
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  1. Raffaella Giacomini & Halbert White, 2006. "Tests of Conditional Predictive Ability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1545-1578, November.
  2. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark F J Steel, 1998. "Benchmark priors for Bayesian model averaging," ESE Discussion Papers 26, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  3. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Min, C.K. & Zellner, A., 1992. ""Bayesian and Non-Bayesian Methods for Combining Models and Forecasts with Applications to Forecasting International Growth Rates"," Papers 90-92-23, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  6. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic-Factor Model: Identification And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 540-554, November.
  7. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
  8. Ben Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr S. Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422, January.
  9. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark Steel, 1999. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Econometrics 9903003, EconWPA, revised 06 Oct 2001.
  10. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-62, April.
  11. Dale J. Poirier, 1995. "Intermediate Statistics and Econometrics: A Comparative Approach," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161494, June.
  12. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Sala, Luca, 2002. "Tracking Greenspan: Systematic and Unsystematic Monetary Policy Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 3550, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Thomas Knox & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2001. "Empirical Bayes Forecasts of One Time Series Using Many Predictors," NBER Technical Working Papers 0269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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