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Machine Learning for Regularized Survey Forecast Combination: Partially-Egalitarian Lasso and its Derivatives

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  • Francis X. Diebold
  • Minchul Shin

Abstract

Despite the clear success of forecast combination in many economic environments, several important issues remain incompletely resolved. The issues relate to selection of the set of forecasts to combine, and whether some form of additional regularization (e.g., shrinkage) is desirable. Against this background, and also considering the frequently-found good performance of simple-average combinations, we propose a LASSO-based procedure that sets some combining weights to zero and shrinks the survivors toward equality ("partially-egalitarian LASSO"). Ex-post analysis reveals that the optimal solution has a very simple form: The vast majority of forecasters should be discarded, and the remainder should be averaged. We therefore propose and explore direct subset-averaging procedures motivated by the structure of partially-egalitarian LASSO and the lessons learned, which, unlike LASSO, do not require choice of a tuning parameter. Intriguingly, in an application to the European Central Bank Survey of Professional Forecasters, our procedures outperform simple average and median forecasts – indeed they perform approximately as well as the ex-post best forecaster.

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  • Francis X. Diebold & Minchul Shin, 2018. "Machine Learning for Regularized Survey Forecast Combination: Partially-Egalitarian Lasso and its Derivatives," NBER Working Papers 24967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24967
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    Cited by:

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    2. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2019. "Probability Assessments of an Ice-Free Arctic: Comparing Statistical and Climate Model Projections," PIER Working Paper Archive 20-001, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    3. Luiz Renato Lima & Lucas Lúcio Godeiro & Mohammed Mohsin, 2021. "Time-Varying Dictionary and the Predictive Power of FED Minutes," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 57(1), pages 149-181, January.
    4. Francis X. Diebold & Minchul Shin & Boyuan Zhang, 2020. "On the Aggregation of Probability Assessments: Regularized Mixtures of Predictive Densities for Eurozone Inflation and Real Interest Rates," Papers 2012.11649, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2021.
    5. Marta Poncela-Blanco & Pilar Poncela, 2021. "Improving Wind Power Forecasts: Combination through Multivariate Dimension Reduction Techniques," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(5), pages 1-16, March.
    6. Ryan Cumings-Menon & Minchul Shin, 2020. "Probability Forecast Combination via Entropy Regularized Wasserstein Distance," Working Papers 20-31/R, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    7. Meira, Erick & Cyrino Oliveira, Fernando Luiz & Jeon, Jooyoung, 2021. "Treating and Pruning: New approaches to forecasting model selection and combination using prediction intervals," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 547-568.
    8. Katarzyna Maciejowska & Bartosz Uniejewski & Tomasz Serafin, 2020. "PCA Forecast Averaging—Predicting Day-Ahead and Intraday Electricity Prices," Energies, MDPI, vol. 13(14), pages 1-19, July.
    9. Michael T. Kiley, 2020. "Financial Conditions and Economic Activity: Insights from Machine Learning," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-095, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Roccazzella, Francesco & Gambetti, Paolo & Vrins, Frédéric, 2020. "Optimal and robust combination of forecasts via constrained optimization and shrinkage," LIDAM Discussion Papers LFIN 2020006, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain Finance (LFIN).
    11. Rachidi Kotchoni & Maxime Leroux & Dalibor Stevanovic, 2019. "Macroeconomic forecast accuracy in a data‐rich environment," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(7), pages 1050-1072, November.
    12. Dalibor Stevanovic & Stéphane Surprenant & Philippe Goulet Coulombe, 2019. "How is Machine Learning Useful for Macroeconomic Forecasting?," CIRANO Working Papers 2019s-22, CIRANO.
    13. Grzegorz Marcjasz & Bartosz Uniejewski & Rafał Weron, 2020. "Beating the Naïve—Combining LASSO with Naïve Intraday Electricity Price Forecasts," Energies, MDPI, vol. 13(7), pages 1-16, April.
    14. Maehashi, Kohei & Shintani, Mototsugu, 2020. "Macroeconomic forecasting using factor models and machine learning: an application to Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 58(C).
    15. Tae-Hwy Lee & Ekaterina Seregina, 2020. "Learning from Forecast Errors: A New Approach to Forecast Combination," Working Papers 202024, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    16. Kohei Maehashi & Mototsugu Shintani, 2020. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Factor Models and Machine Learning: An Application to Japan," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1146, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    17. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2019. "Probability Assessments of an Ice-Free Arctic: Comparing Statistical and Climate Model Projections," PIER Working Paper Archive 19-021, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    18. Daniel Borup & David E. Rapach & Erik Christian Montes Schütte, 2021. "Now- and Backcasting Initial Claims with High-Dimensional Daily Internet Search-Volume Data," CREATES Research Papers 2021-02, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    19. Bin Chen & Kenwin Maung, 2020. "Time-varying Forecast Combination for High-Dimensional Data," Papers 2010.10435, arXiv.org.
    20. Yoonseok Lee & Donggyu Sul, 2021. "Depth-Weighted Forecast Combination: Application to COVID-19 Cases," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 238, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    21. Zhentao Shi & Liangjun Su & Tian Xie, 2020. "High Dimensional Forecast Combinations Under Latent Structures," Papers 2010.09477, arXiv.org.
    22. Anesti, Nikoleta & Kalamara, Eleni & Kapetanios, George, 2021. "Forecasting UK GDP growth with large survey panels," Bank of England working papers 923, Bank of England.
    23. Huang, Dashan & Li, Jiangyuan & Wang, Liyao, 2021. "Are disagreements agreeable? Evidence from information aggregation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 83-101.
    24. Daniel Borup & Jonas N. Eriksen & Mads M. Kjær & Martin Thyrsgaard, 2020. "Predicting bond return predictability," CREATES Research Papers 2020-09, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.

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    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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