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Measuring Predictability: Theory and Macroeconomic Applications

  • Francis X. Diebold
  • Lutz Kilian

We 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. We propose a simple estimator, and we suggest resampling methods for inference. We then provide several macroeconomic applications. First, based on fitted parametric models, we assess the predictability of a variety of macroeconomic series. Second, we analyze the internal propagation mechanism of a standard dynamic macroeconomic model by comparing predictability of model inputs and model outputs. Third, we use predictability as a metric for assessing the similarity of data simulated from the model and actual data. Finally, we sketch several promising directions for future research.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/t0213.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Technical Working Papers with number 0213.

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Date of creation: Aug 1997
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Publication status: published as Diebold, Franics S. and Lutz Kilian. "Measuring Predictability: Theory And Macroeconomic Applications," Jouranl of Applied Econometrics, 2001, v16(6), 657-669.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0213
Note: EFG
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  1. 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.
  2. Francis X. Diebold & Lee E. Ohanian & Jeremy Berkowitz, 1998. "Dynamic equilibrium economies: a framework for comparing models and data," Staff Report 243, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Peter F. Christoffersen & Francis X. Diebold, 1994. "Optimal Prediction Under Asymmetric Loss," NBER Technical Working Papers 0167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Diebold, F.X. & Kilian, L. & Nerlove, Marc, 2006. "Time Series Analysis," Working Papers 28556, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  6. 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.).
  7. Timothy Cogley & James M. Nason, 1993. "Output dynamics in real business cycle models," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 93-10, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. 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.
  9. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-617, December.
  10. repec:cup:etheor:v:13:y:1997:i:6:p:808-17 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  12. Christoffersen & Diebold, . "Further Results on Forecasting and Model Selection Under Asymmetric Loss," Home Pages _059, University of Pennsylvania.
  13. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1995. "Inflation Indicators and Inflation Policy," NBER Working Papers 5161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian, 2000. "Bootstrapping Autoregressive Processes with Possible Unit Roots," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0401, Econometric Society.
  15. 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.
  16. Barsky, Robert B., 1987. "The Fisher hypothesis and the forecastability and persistence of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, January.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Confidence intervals for impulse responses under departures from normality," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-29.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 1995. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 253-63, July.
  29. 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.
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