Forecasting Regional Employment in Germany by Means of Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms
The aim of this paper is to develop and apply Neural Network (NN) models in order to forecast regional employment patterns in Germany. NNs are statistical tools based on learning algorithms with a distribution over a large amount of quantitative data. NNs are increasingly deployed in the social sciences as a useful technique for interpolating data when a clear specification of the functional relationship between dependent and independent variables is not available. In addition to traditional NN models, a further set of NN models will be developed in this paper, incorporating Genetic Algorithm (GA) techniques in order to detect the networks’ structure. GAs are computer-aided optimization tools that imitate natural biological evolution in order to find the solution that best fits the given case. Our experiments employ a data set consisting of a panel of 439 districts distributed over the former West and East Germany,. The West and East data sets have different time horizons, as employment information by district is available from 1987 and 1993 for West and East Germany, respectively. Separate West and East models are tested, before carrying out a unified experiment on the full data set for Germany. The above models are then evaluated by means of several statistical indicators, in order to test their ability to provide out- of-sample forecasts. A comparison between traditional and GAenhanced models is ultimately proposed. The results show that the West and East NN models perform with different degrees of precision, because of the different data sets’ time horizons.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Swanson, Norman R. & White, Halbert, 1997. "Forecasting economic time series using flexible versus fixed specification and linear versus nonlinear econometric models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 439-461, December.
- John Cooper, 1999. "Artificial neural networks versus multivariate statistics: An application from economics," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(8), pages 909-921.
- Norman R. Swanson & Halbert White, 1997.
"A Model Selection Approach To Real-Time Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Linear Models And Artificial Neural Networks,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 540-550, November.
- Norman R. Swanson & Halbert White, 1995. "A Model Selection Approach to Real-Time Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Linear Models and Artificial Neural Networks," Macroeconomics 9503004, EconWPA.
- Swanson, N.R. & White, H., 1995. "A Models Selection Approach to Real-Time Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Linear Models and Artificial Neural Networks," Papers 04-95-12, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
- Nag, Ashok K & Mitra, Amit, 2002. "Forecasting Daily Foreign Exchange Rates Using Genetically Optimized Neural Networks," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 501-511, November.
- James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "A Comparison of Linear and Nonlinear Univariate Models for Forecasting Macroeconomic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 6607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lutz Bellmann & Uwe Blien, 2001. "Wage Curve Analyses of Establishment Data from Western Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(4), pages 851-863, July.
- Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, Paul, 1986. "Forecasting Economic Time Series," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780122951831 edited by Shell, Karl.
- Longhi, Simonetta & Nijkamp, Peter & Reggiani, Aura & Blien, Uwe, 2002. "Forecasting regional labour markets in Germany: an evaluation of the performance of neural network analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa02p117, European Regional Science Association.
- Reggiani, Aura & Nijkamp, Peter & Sabella, Enrico, 2001. "New advances in spatial network modelling: Towards evolutionary algorithms," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 128(2), pages 385-401, January.
- Baker, Bruce D. & Richards, Craig E., 1999. "A comparison of conventional linear regression methods and neural networks for forecasting educational spending," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 405-415, October.
- Manfred M. Fischer & Yee Leung, 1998. "A genetic-algorithms based evolutionary computational neural network for modelling spatial interaction data," ERSA conference papers ersa98p478, European Regional Science Association. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)