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Economic predictions with big data: the illusion of sparsity

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  • Domenico Giannone
  • Michele Lenza
  • Giorgio E. Primiceri

Abstract

We compare sparse and dense representations of predictive models in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and finance. To deal with a large number of possible predictors, we specify a prior that allows for both variable selection and shrinkage. The posterior distribution does not typically concentrate on a single sparse or dense model, but on a wide set of models. A clearer pattern of sparsity can only emerge when models of very low dimension are strongly favored a priori.

Suggested Citation

  • Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2018. "Economic predictions with big data: the illusion of sparsity," Staff Reports 847, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:847
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    model selection; shrinkage; high dimensional data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C55 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Large Data Sets: Modeling and Analysis

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