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Beating the Random Walk: a Performance Assessment of Long-term Interest Rate Forecasts

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  • Frank A.G. den Butter

    () (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Pieter W. Jansen

    (Aegon Investment Management)

Abstract

This paper has led to a publication in Applied Financial Economics , 2013, 23(9), 749-765. This paper assesses the performance of a number of long-term interest rate forecast approaches, namely time series models, structural economic models, expert forecasts and combinations thereof. The predictive performance of these approaches is compared using out of sample forecast errors, where a random walk forecast acts as benchmark. It is found that for five major OECD countries, namely United States, Germany, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Japan, the other forecasting approaches do not outperform the random walk, or a somewhat more sophisticated time series model, on a 3 month forecast horizon. On a 12 month forecast horizon the random walk model can be outperformed by a model that combines economic data and expert forecasts. Here several methods of combination are considered: equal weights, optimized weights and weights based on forecast error. It appears that the additional information contents of the structural models and expert knowledge is only relevant for forecasting 12 months ahead.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank A.G. den Butter & Pieter W. Jansen, 2008. "Beating the Random Walk: a Performance Assessment of Long-term Interest Rate Forecasts," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-102/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20080102
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vortelinos, Dimitrios I., 2017. "Forecasting realized volatility: HAR against Principal Components Combining, neural networks and GARCH," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 824-839.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    interest rate forecasting; expert knowledge; combining forecasts; optimizing forecast errors;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E47 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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