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Perspectives on Evaluating Macroeconomic Forecasts

  • Ullrich Heilemann

    (Univeristy of Leipzig)

  • Herman Stekler

    (Department of Economics The George Washington University)

Over the past 50 or so years, I have been concerned with the quality of economic forecasts and have written both about the procedures for evaluating these predictions and the results that were obtained from these evaluations. In this paper I provide some perspectives on the issues involved in judging the quality of these forecasts. These include the reasons for evaluating forecasts, the questions that have been asked in these evaluations, the statistical tools that have been used, and the generally accepted results. (I do also present some new material that has not yet been published.) I do this in two parts: first focusing on short-run GDP and inflation predictions and then turning to labor market forecasts.

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File URL: https://www2.gwu.edu/~forcpgm/2010-002.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting in its series Working Papers with number 2010-002.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gwc:wpaper:2010-002
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  1. Baghestani, Hamid, 2008. "Federal Reserve versus private information: Who is the best unemployment rate predictor," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 101-110.
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  8. Skalin, Joakim & Ter svirta, Timo, 2002. "Modeling Asymmetries And Moving Equilibria In Unemployment Rates," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 202-241, April.
  9. Laura Brown & Saeed Moshiri, 2004. "Unemployment variation over the business cycles: a comparison of forecasting models," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(7), pages 497-511.
  10. Heilemann, Ullrich & Stekler, H. O., 2003. "Has the accuracy of German macroeconomic forecasts improved?," Technical Reports 2003,31, Technische Universität Dortmund, Sonderforschungsbereich 475: Komplexitätsreduktion in multivariaten Datenstrukturen.
  11. Harvey, David & Leybourne, Stephen & Newbold, Paul, 1997. "Testing the equality of prediction mean squared errors," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-291, June.
  12. D. A. Peel & A. E. H. Speight, 2000. "Threshold nonlinearities in unemployment rates: further evidence for the UK and G3 economies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 705-715.
  13. Philip Rothman, . "Forecasting Asymmetric Unemployment Rates," Working Papers 9618, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
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  17. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1987. "Scoring the leading indicators," Special Studies Papers 206, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Milas, Costas & Rothman, Philip, 2008. "Out-of-sample forecasting of unemployment rates with pooled STVECM forecasts," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 101-121.
  19. Leitch, Gordon & Tanner, J Ernest, 1991. "Economic Forecast Evaluation: Profits versus the Conventional Error Measures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 580-90, June.
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  22. Pesaran, H.M. & Timmermann, A., 2003. "How Costly is it to Ignore Breaks when Forecasting the Direction of a Time Series?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0306, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  23. Smith, Stanley K. & Sincich, Terry, 1992. "Evaluating the forecast accuracy and bias of alternative population projections for states," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 495-508, November.
  24. Öller, Lars-Erik & Barot, Bharat, 1999. "Comparing the Accuracy of European GDP Forecasts," Working Papers 64, National Institute of Economic Research.
  25. Clements, Michael P & Krolzig, Hans-Martin, 2003. "Business Cycle Asymmetries: Characterization and Testing Based on Markov-Switching Autoregressions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(1), pages 196-211, January.
  26. Massimiliano Marcellino, . "Instability and non-linearity in the EMU," Working Papers 211, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  28. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  37. repec:gwc:wpaper:2008-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  39. Lukas Vogel, 2007. "How do the OECD Growth Projections for the G7 Economies Perform?: A Post-Mortem," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 573, OECD Publishing.
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  41. Stekler, H. O., 1991. "Macroeconomic forecast evaluation techniques," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 375-384, November.
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