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Measuring Predictability: Theory and Macroeconomic Applications

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  • Francis X. Diebold
  • Lutz Kilian

Abstract

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 covariance stationary or difference stationary processes. We propose a simple estimator, and we suggest resampling methods for inference. We then provide several macroeconomic applications. First, we illustrate the implementation of predictability measures based on fitted parametric models for several US macroeconomic time series. Second, we analyse the internal propagation mechanism of a standard dynamic macroeconomic model by comparing the 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 outline several nonparametric extensions of our approach.
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Suggested Citation

  • Francis X. Diebold & Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Measuring Predictability: Theory and Macroeconomic Applications," Working Papers 98-16, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:98-16
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Francis X. Diebold & Lee E. Ohanian & Jeremy Berkowitz, 1998. "Dynamic Equilibrium Economies: A Framework for Comparing Models and Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 433-451.
    2. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    3. Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian, 2002. "Bootstrapping Autoregressive Processes with Possible Unit Roots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 377-391, January.
    4. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M, 1995. "Output Dynamics in Real-Business-Cycle Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 492-511, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Diebold, Francis X & Mariano, Roberto S, 2002. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 134-144, January.
    7. repec:cup:etheor:v:13:y:1997:i:6:p:808-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. Christoffersen, Peter F. & Diebold, Francis X., 1997. "Optimal Prediction Under Asymmetric Loss," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(6), pages 808-817, December.
    10. 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 231-247, July-Sept.
    11. 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.
    12. Clements,Michael & Hendry,David, 1998. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521632423, December.
    13. 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.
    14. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1995. "Inflation Indicators and Inflation Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 189-236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Confidence intervals for impulse responses under departures from normality," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-29.
    16. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. "Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-1617, December.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. Christoffersen, Peter F & Diebold, Francis X, 1996. "Further Results on Forecasting and Model Selection under Asymmetric Loss," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(5), pages 561-571, Sept.-Oct.
    20. 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.
    21. Francis X. Diebold & Lutz Kilian & Marc Nerlove, 2006. "Time Series Analysis," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
      • Diebold, F.X. & Kilian, L. & Nerlove, Marc, 2006. "Time Series Analysis," Working Papers 28556, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    22. 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.).
    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 1291-1298, December.
    24. 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.
    25. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, Paul, 1986. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780122951831 edited by Shell, Karl.
    26. 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.
    27. 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.
    28. 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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    30. Kilian, Lutz, 2001. "Impulse Response Analysis in Vector Autoregressions with Unknown Lag Order," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 161-179, April.
    31. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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