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A Comparison of Forecasting Procedures for Macroeconomic Series: the Contribution of Structural Break Models


  • Luc Bauwens
  • Gary Koop
  • Dimitris Korobilis
  • Jeroen V.K. Rombouts


This paper compares the forecasting performance of different models which have been proposed for forecasting in the presence of structural breaks. These models differ in their treatment of the break process, the parameters defining the model which applies in each regime and the out-of-sample probability of a break occurring. In an extensive empirical evaluation involving many important macroeconomic time series, we demonstrate the presence of structural breaks and their importance for forecasting in the vast majority of cases. However, we find no single forecasting model consistently works best in the presence of structural breaks. In many cases, the formal modeling of the break process is important in achieving good forecast performance. However, there are also many cases where simple, rolling OLS forecasts perform well.

Suggested Citation

  • Luc Bauwens & Gary Koop & Dimitris Korobilis & Jeroen V.K. Rombouts, 2011. "A Comparison of Forecasting Procedures for Macroeconomic Series: the Contribution of Structural Break Models," Cahiers de recherche 1104, CIRPEE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1104

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2009. "Improving Forecast Accuracy By Combining Recursive And Rolling Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 363-395, May.
    2. Gary Koop & Dimitris Korobilis, 2012. "Forecasting Inflation Using Dynamic Model Averaging," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(3), pages 867-886, August.
    3. Winfried Pohlmeier & Luc Bauwens & David Veredas, 2007. "High frequency financial econometrics. Recent developments," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/136223, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "A comparison of direct and iterated multistep AR methods for forecasting macroeconomic time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1-2), pages 499-526.
    5. Eklund, Jana & Kapetanios, George & Price, Simon, 2010. "Forecasting in the presence of recent structural change," Bank of England working papers 406, Bank of England.
    6. Antonello D'Agostino & Luca Gambetti & Domenico Giannone, 2013. "Macroeconomic forecasting and structural change," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 82-101, January.
    7. Clements,Michael & Hendry,David, 1998. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632423, March.
    8. John M. Maheu & Stephen Gordon, 2008. "Learning, forecasting and structural breaks," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 553-583.
    9. Meese, Richard & Geweke, John, 1984. "A Comparison of Autoregressive Univariate Forecasting Procedures for Macroeconomic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(3), pages 191-200, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rossi, Barbara, 2013. "Advances in Forecasting under Instability," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    2. Kang, Wensheng & Ratti, Ronald A. & Yoon, Kyung Hwan, 2015. "Time-varying effect of oil market shocks on the stock market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(S2), pages 150-163.
    3. Pettenuzzo, Davide & Timmermann, Allan G, 2016. "Forecasting Macroeconomic Variables under Model Instability," CEPR Discussion Papers 11355, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Kirsten Thompson & Renee Van Eyden & Rangan Gupta, 2015. "Identifying an index of financial conditions for South Africa," Studies in Economics and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 256-274, June.
    5. Koop, Gary & Korobilis, Dimitris, 2011. "UK macroeconomic forecasting with many predictors: Which models forecast best and when do they do so?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 2307-2318, September.
    6. repec:eee:intfor:v:33:y:2017:i:4:p:1124-1143 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Todd E. Clark & Taeyoung Doh, 2011. "A Bayesian evaluation of alternative models of trend inflation," Research Working Paper RWP 11-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    8. Chiu, Ching-Wai (Jeremy) & Mumtaz, Haroon & Pintér, Gábor, 2017. "Forecasting with VAR models: Fat tails and stochastic volatility," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 1124-1143.
    9. repec:eee:intfor:v:33:y:2017:i:4:p:1025-1043 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Markku Lanne & Jani Luoto, 2016. "Noncausal Bayesian Vector Autoregression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(7), pages 1392-1406, November.
    11. repec:eee:empfin:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:131-154 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Eo Yunjong, 2016. "Structural changes in inflation dynamics: multiple breaks at different dates for different parameters," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 20(3), pages 211-231, June.
    13. Dimitris Korobilis, 2013. "Var Forecasting Using Bayesian Variable Selection," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 204-230, March.
    14. repec:mes:emfitr:v:51:y:2015:i:3:p:486-501 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Franz Ruch & Mehmet Balcilar & Mampho P. Modise & Rangan Gupta, 2015. "Forecasting Core Inflation: The Case of South Africa," Working Papers 201543, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    16. Arnaud Dufays & Jeroen V.K. Rombouts, 2016. "Sparse Change-point HAR Models for Realized Variance," Cahiers de recherche 1607, Centre de recherche sur les risques, les enjeux économiques, et les politiques publiques.
    17. Nonejad Nima, 2015. "Particle Gibbs with ancestor sampling for stochastic volatility models with: heavy tails, in mean effects, leverage, serial dependence and structural breaks," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(5), pages 561-584, December.
    18. Kirsten Thompson & Reneé van Eyden & Rangan Gupta, 2015. "Testing the Out-of-Sample Forecasting Ability of a Financial Conditions Index for South Africa," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(3), pages 486-501, May.
    19. Luis Uzeda, 2016. "State Correlation and Forecasting: A Bayesian Approach Using Unobserved Components Models," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2016-632, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    20. Czinkota, Thomas, 2012. "Das Halteproblem bei Strukturbrüchen in Finanzmarktzeitreihen
      [The Halting Problem applied to Structural Breaks in Financial Time Series]
      ," MPRA Paper 37072, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Kascha, Christian & Trenkler, Carsten, 2015. "Forecasting VARs, model selection, and shrinkage," Working Papers 15-07, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    22. Sylvia Kaufmann, 2016. "Hidden Markov models in time series, with applications in economics," Working Papers 16.06, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
    23. Hossein Hassani & Zara Ghodsi & Rangan Gupta & Mawuli Segnon, 2017. "Forecasting Home Sales in the Four Census Regions and the Aggregate US Economy Using Singular Spectrum Analysis," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 49(1), pages 83-97, January.
    24. Stephen McKnight & Alexander Mihailov & Kerry Patterson & Fabio Rumler, 2014. "The Predictive Performance of Fundamental Inflation Concepts: An Application to the Euro Area and the United States," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2014-03, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    25. Dimitrios P. Louzis, 2016. "Macroeconomic forecasting and structural changes in steady states," Working Papers 204, Bank of Greece.

    More about this item


    Forecasting; change-points; Markov switching; Bayesian inference;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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