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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: http://www.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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  10. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2008. "The FOMC versus the Staff: Where Can Monetary Policymakers Add Value?," NBER Working Papers 13751, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Herman O. Stekler, 2008. "What Do We Know About G-7 Macro Forecasts?," Working Papers 2008-009, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
  12. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 2004. "How costly is it to ignore breaks when forecasting the direction of a time series?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 411-425.
  13. 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.).
  14. Stekler, H. O., 1991. "Macroeconomic forecast evaluation techniques," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 375-384, November.
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  16. Ullrich Heilemann & Herman O. Stekler, 2010. "Has the Accuracy of German Macroeconomic Forecasts Improved?," Working Papers 2010-001, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting, revised Feb 2012.
  17. Kajal Lahiri & Gultekin Isiklar, 2006. "How Far Ahead Can We Forecast? Evidence From Cross-country Surveys," Discussion Papers 06-04, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  18. Öller, Lars-Erik & Barot, Bharat, 1999. "Comparing the Accuracy of European GDP Forecasts," Working Paper 64, National Institute of Economic Research.
  19. 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.
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  21. 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.
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  23. Christopher D Carroll, 2002. "Macroeconomic Expectations of Households and Professional Forecasters," Economics Working Paper Archive 477, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  24. 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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  26. 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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  28. 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.
  29. Oller, Lars-Erik & Teterukovsky, Alex, 2007. "Quantifying the quality of macroeconomic variables," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 205-217.
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  39. repec:gwc:wpaper:2008-9 is not listed on IDEAS
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  41. 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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