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Forecasting with Breaks

Michael Clements and David Hendry ()

Chapter 12 in Handbook of Economic Forecasting, 2006, vol. 1, pp 605-657 from Elsevier

Abstract: A structural break is viewed as a permanent change in the parameter vector of a model. Using taxonomies of all sources of forecast errors for both conditional mean and conditional variance processes, we consider the impacts of breaks and their relevance in forecasting models: (a) where the breaks occur after forecasts are announced; and (b) where they occur in-sample and hence pre-forecasting. The impact on forecasts depends on which features of the models are non-constant. Different models and methods are shown to fare differently in the face of breaks. While structural breaks induce an instability in some parameters of a particular model, the consequences for forecasting are specific to the type of break and form of model. We present a detailed analysis for cointegrated VARs, given the popularity of such models in econometrics. We also consider the detection of breaks, and how to handle breaks in a forecasting context, including ad hoc forecasting devices and the choice of the estimation period. Finally, we contrast the impact of structural break non-constancies with non-constancies due to non-linearity. The main focus is on macro-economic, rather than finance, data, and on forecast biases, rather than higher moments. Nevertheless, we show the relevance of some of the key results for variance processes. An empirical exercise `forecasts' UK unemployment after three major historical crises.

JEL-codes: B0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
ISBN: 0-444-51395-7
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (54) Track citations by RSS feed

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