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Measuring predictability: theory and macroeconomic applications

  • Francis X. Diebold
  • Lutz Kilian

The authors propose a measure of predictability based on the ratio of the expected loss of a short-run forecast to the expected loss of a long-run forecast. This predictability measure can be tailored to the forecast horizons of interest, and it allows for general loss functions, univariate or multivariate information sets, and stationary or nonstationary data. The authors propose a simple estimator and suggest resampling methods for inference. They then provide several macroeconomic applications. First, on the basis of fitted parametric models, the authors assess the predictability of a variety of macroeconomic series. Second, they analyze the internal propagation mechanism of a standard dynamic macroeconomic model by comparing predictability of model inputs and model outputs. Third, they use predictability as a metric for assessing the similarity of data simulated from the model and actual data. Finally, the authors sketch several promising directions for future research.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 97-23.

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Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:97-23
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  1. Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Small-Sample Confidence Intervals For Impulse Response Functions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 218-230, May.
  2. Laurence Ball & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1990. "Inflation and Uncertainty at Long and Short Horizons," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 215-254.
  3. Diebold, Francis X & Ohanian, Lee E & Berkowitz, Jeremy, 1998. "Dynamic Equilibrium Economies: A Framework for Comparing Models and Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 433-51, July.
  4. Peter F. Christoffersen & Francis X. Diebold, . "Optimal Prediction Under Asymmetric Loss," CARESS Working Papres 97-20, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. repec:cup:etheor:v:13:y:1997:i:6:p:808-17 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  7. King, Robert G & Watson, Mark W, 1996. "Money, Prices, Interest Rates and the Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 35-53, February.
  8. Diebold, F.X. & Kilian, L. & Nerlove, Marc, 2006. "Time Series Analysis," Working Papers 28556, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  9. Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1996. "Real-Business-Cycle Models and the Forecastable Movements in Output, Hours, and Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 71-89, March.
  10. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  11. Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Confidence intervals for impulse responses under departures from normality," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-29.
  12. Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian, 2002. "Bootstrapping Smooth Functions of Slope Parameters and Innovation Variances in VAR (∞) Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 309-332, May.
  13. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M, 1995. "Output Dynamics in Real-Business-Cycle Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 492-511, June.
  14. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1995. "Inflation Indicators and Inflation Policy," NBER Working Papers 5161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1995. "Let's Get Real: A Dynamic Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M., 1995. "Effects of the Hodrick-Prescott filter on trend and difference stationary time series Implications for business cycle research," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 253-278.
  17. Singleton, Kenneth J., 1988. "Econometric issues in the analysis of equilibrium business cycle models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 361-386.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521632423 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  20. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian, 2002. "Bootstrapping Autoregressive Processes with Possible Unit Roots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 377-391, January.
  22. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-617, December.
  23. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-47, July-Sept.
  24. Kilian, Lutz, 2001. "Impulse Response Analysis in Vector Autoregressions with Unknown Lag Order," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 161-79, April.
  25. Robert B. Barsky, 1986. "The Fisher Hypothesis and the Forecastability and Persistence of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 1927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Francis X. Diebold & Marc Nerlove, 1988. "Unit roots in economic time series: a selective survey," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  27. Christoffersen, Peter F & Diebold, Francis X, 1996. "Further Results on Forecasting and Model Selection under Asymmetric Loss," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(5), pages 561-71, Sept.-Oct.
  28. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
  29. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  30. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521634809 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Diebold, Francis X & Senhadji, Abdelhak S, 1996. "The Uncertain Unit Root in Real GNP: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1291-98, December.
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