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Forecasting Key Macroeconomic Variables of the South African Economy Using Bayesian Variable Selection

Author

Listed:
  • Mirriam Chitalu Chama-Chiliba

    (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)

  • Rangan Gupta

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)

  • Nonophile Nkambule

    (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)

  • Naomi Tlotlego

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)

Abstract

We compare the forecasting performances of the classical and the Minnesota-type Bayesian vector autoregressive (VAR) models with those of linear (fixed-parameter) and nonlinear (time-varying parameter) VARs involving a stochastic search algorithm for variable selection, estimated using Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods. In this regard, we analyze the forecasting performances of all these models in predicting one- to eight-quarters-ahead of the growth rate of GDP, the consumer price index inflation rate and the three months Treasury bill rate for South Africa over an out-of-sample period of 2000:Q1-2011:Q2, using an in-sample period of 1960:Q1-1999:Q4. In general, we find that variable selection, whether imposed on a time-varying VAR or a fixed parameter VAR, and non-linearity in VARs play an important part in improving predictions when compared to the linear fixed coefficients classical VAR. However, we do not observe marked gains in forecasting power across the different Bayesian models, as well as, over the classical VAR model, possibly because the problem of over parameterization in the classical VAR is not that acute in our three-variable system.

Suggested Citation

  • Mirriam Chitalu Chama-Chiliba & Rangan Gupta & Nonophile Nkambule & Naomi Tlotlego, 2011. "Forecasting Key Macroeconomic Variables of the South African Economy Using Bayesian Variable Selection," Working Papers 201132, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:201132
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rangan Gupta, 2006. "FORECASTING THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY WITH VARs AND VECMs," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(4), pages 611-628, December.
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    4. Dimitris Korobilis, 2013. "Var Forecasting Using Bayesian Variable Selection," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 204-230, March.
    5. Rangan Gupta & Alain Kabundi, 2008. "A Dynamic Factor Model for Forecasting Macroeconomic Variables in South Africa," Working Papers 200815, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    6. Rangan Gupta & Alain Kabundi, 2010. "Forecasting macroeconomic variables in a small open economy: a comparison between small- and large-scale models," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1-2), pages 168-185.
    7. Rangan Gupta & Moses m. Sichei, 2006. "A Bvar Model For The South African Economy," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(3), pages 391-409, September.
    8. Das, Sonali & Gupta, Rangan & Kabundi, Alain, 2009. "Could we have predicted the recent downturn in the South African housing market?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 325-335, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Forecasting; time varying parameters; variable selection; Bayesian vector autoregression;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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