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Comparing Predictive Accuracy, Twenty Years Later: A Personal Perspective on the Use and Abuse of Diebold-Mariano Tests

  • Francis X. Diebold

The Diebold-Mariano (DM) test was intended for comparing forecasts; it has been, and remains, useful in that regard. The DM test was not intended for comparing models. Unfortunately, however, much of the large subsequent literature uses DM-type tests for comparing models, in (pseudo-) out-of-sample environments. In that case, much simpler yet more compelling full-sample model comparison procedures exist; they have been, and should continue to be, widely used. The hunch that (pseudo-) out-of-sample analysis is somehow the "only," or "best," or even a "good" way to provide insurance against in-sample over-fitting in model comparisons proves largely false. On the other hand, (pseudo-) out-of-sample analysis may be useful for learning about comparative historical predictive performance.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18391.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18391
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  1. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
  2. Douglas Rivers & Quang Vuong, 2002. "Model selection tests for nonlinear dynamic models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 5(1), pages 1-39, June.
  3. David E. Rapach & Jack K. Strauss & Guofu Zhou, 2010. "Out-of-Sample Equity Premium Prediction: Combination Forecasts and Links to the Real Economy," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(2), pages 821-862, February.
  4. Kilian, Lutz & Taylor, Mark P, 2001. "Why is it so Difficult to Beat the Random Walk Forecast of Exchange Rates?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3024, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Li, Tong, 2009. "Simulation based selection of competing structural econometric models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 114-123, February.
  6. Clark, Todd E. & McCracken, Michael W., 2001. "Tests of equal forecast accuracy and encompassing for nested models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 85-110, November.
  7. Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian, 2005. "In-Sample or Out-of-Sample Tests of Predictability: Which One Should We Use?," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 371-402.
  8. Barbara Rossi & Atsushi Inoue, 2012. "Out-of-Sample Forecast Tests Robust to the Choice of Window Size," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 432-453, April.
  9. Inoue, Atsushi & Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "On the selection of forecasting models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 130(2), pages 273-306, February.
  10. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2008. "Tests of equal predictive ability with real-time data," Working Papers 2008-029, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  11. 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.
  12. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2011. "Advances in forecast evaluation," Working Papers 2011-025, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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