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Forecasting with Medium and Large Bayesian VARs

  • Gary Koop

    (University of Strathclyde; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA))

This paper is motivated by the recent interest in the use of Bayesian VARs for forecasting, even in cases where the number of dependent variables is large. In such cases, factor methods have been traditionally used but recent work using a particular prior suggests that Bayesian VAR methods can forecast better. In this paper, we consider a range of alternative priors which have been used with small VARs, discuss the issues which arise when they are used with medium and large VARs and examine their forecast performance using a US macroeconomic data set containing 168 variables. We ?nd that Bayesian VARs do tend to forecast better than factor methods and provide an extensive comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches. Our empirical results show the importance of using forecast metrics which use the entire predictive density, instead of using only point forecasts.

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File URL: http://www.rcfea.org/RePEc/pdf/wp43_10.pdf
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Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 43_10.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:43_10
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  1. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2005. "A Comparison of Direct and Iterated Multistep AR Methods for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," CEPR Discussion Papers 4976, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-62, April.
  3. Gary Koop & Markus Jochmann & Rodney W. Strachan, 2008. "Bayesian Forecasting using Stochastic Search Variable Selection in a VAR Subject to Breaks," Working Paper Series 19-08, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2008.
  4. Domenico Giannone & Martha Banbura & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Bayesian VARs with large panels," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13388, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Marc Hallin & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2003. "Do financial variables help forecasting inflation and real activity in the Euro area ?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/2123, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1983. "Forecasting and Conditional Projection Using Realistic Prior Distributions," NBER Working Papers 1202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marta Bańbura, 2008. "Large Bayesian VARs," 2008 Meeting Papers 334, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
  9. Litterman, Robert, 1986. "Forecasting with Bayesian vector autoregressions -- Five years of experience : Robert B. Litterman, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics 4 (1986) 25-38," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 497-498.
  10. George, Edward I. & Sun, Dongchu & Ni, Shawn, 2008. "Bayesian stochastic search for VAR model restrictions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 553-580, January.
  11. Kadiyala, K. Rao & Karlsson, Sune, 1994. "Numerical Aspects of Bayesian VAR-modeling," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 12, Stockholm School of Economics.
  12. Poirier, Dale J., 1998. "Revising Beliefs In Nonidentified Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 483-509, August.
  13. Korobilis, Dimitris, 2008. "Forecasting in vector autoregressions with many predictors," MPRA Paper 21122, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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