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“Tracking economic growth by evolving expectations via genetic programming: A two-step approach”

Author

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  • Oscar Claveria

    (AQR-IREA AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona (UB). Tel.: +34-934021825; Fax.: +34-934021821. Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 690, 08034 Barcelona, Spain)

  • Enric Monte

    (Department of Signal Theory and Communications, Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC))

  • Salvador Torra

    (Riskcenter-IREA, Department of Econometrics and Statistics, University of Barcelona (UB))

Abstract

The main objective of this study is to present a two-step approach to generate estimates of economic growth based on agents’ expectations from tendency surveys. First, we design a genetic programming experiment to derive mathematical functional forms that approximate the target variable by combining survey data on expectations about different economic variables. We use evolutionary algorithms to estimate a symbolic regression that links survey-based expectations to a quantitative variable used as a yardstick (economic growth). In a second step, this set of empirically-generated proxies of economic growth are linearly combined to track the evolution of GDP. To evaluate the forecasting performance of the generated estimates of GDP, we use them to assess the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on the accuracy of agents' expectations about the evolution of the economic activity in 28 countries of the OECD. While in most economies we find an improvement in the capacity of agents' to anticipate the evolution of GDP after the crisis, predictive accuracy worsens in relation to the period prior to the crisis. The most accurate GDP forecasts are obtained for Sweden, Austria and Finland.

Suggested Citation

  • Oscar Claveria & Enric Monte & Salvador Torra, 2018. "“Tracking economic growth by evolving expectations via genetic programming: A two-step approach”," IREA Working Papers 201801, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jan 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:201801
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Evolutionary algorithms; Symbolic regression; Genetic programming; Business and consumer surveys; Expectations; Forecasting. JEL classification:C51; C55; C63; C83; C93.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C55 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Large Data Sets: Modeling and Analysis
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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