nep-for New Economics Papers
on Forecasting
Issue of 2024‒01‒22
two papers chosen by
Rob J Hyndman, Monash University

  1. Economic Forecasts Using Many Noises By Yuan Liao; Xinjie Ma; Andreas Neuhierl; Zhentao Shi
  2. Optimal Forecast Combination Under Asymmetric Loss and Regime-Switching By Viola Monostoriné Grolmusz

  1. By: Yuan Liao; Xinjie Ma; Andreas Neuhierl; Zhentao Shi
    Abstract: This paper addresses a key question in economic forecasting: does pure noise truly lack predictive power? Economists typically conduct variable selection to eliminate noises from predictors. Yet, we prove a compelling result that in most economic forecasts, the inclusion of noises in predictions yields greater benefits than its exclusion. Furthermore, if the total number of predictors is not sufficiently large, intentionally adding more noises yields superior forecast performance, outperforming benchmark predictors relying on dimension reduction. The intuition lies in economic predictive signals being densely distributed among regression coefficients, maintaining modest forecast bias while diversifying away overall variance, even when a significant proportion of predictors constitute pure noises. One of our empirical demonstrations shows that intentionally adding 300~6, 000 pure noises to the Welch and Goyal (2008) dataset achieves a noteworthy 10% out-of-sample R square accuracy in forecasting the annual U.S. equity premium. The performance surpasses the majority of sophisticated machine learning models.
    Date: 2023–12
  2. By: Viola Monostoriné Grolmusz (Central Bank of Hungary)
    Abstract: Forecast combinations have been repeatedly shown to outperform individual professional forecasts and complicated time series models in accuracy. Their ease of use and accuracy makes them important tools for policy decisions. While simple combinations work remarkably well in some situations, time-varying combinations can be even more accurate in other real-life scenarios involving economic forecasts. This paper uses a regime switching framework to model the time-variation in forecast combination weights. I use an optimization problem based on asymmetric loss functions in deriving optimal forecast combination weights. The switching framework is based on the work of Elliott and Timmermann (2005), however I extend their setup by using asymmetric quadratic loss in the optimization problem. This is an important extension, since with my setup it is possible to quantify and analyze optimal forecast biases for different directions and levels of asymmetry in the loss function, contributing to the vast literature on forecast bias. I interpret the equations for the optimal weights through analytical examples and examine how the weights depend on the model parameters, the level of asymmetry of the loss function and the transition probabilities and starting state.
    Keywords: Forecast combination, Loss functions, Time-varying combination weights, Markov switching..
    JEL: C53
    Date: 2023

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