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Abstract:

Econometrics Paper
Testable Implications of Forecast Optimality
Andrew J. Patton and Allan Timmermann
January 2005
Paper No' EM/2005/485:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: C53; C22; C52


Tags: forecast evaluation; loss function; rationality tests

Evaluation of forecast optimality in economics and finance has almost exclusively been conducted on the assumption of mean squared error loss under which forecasts should be unbiased and forecast errors serially uncorrelated at the single period horizon with increasing variance as the forecast horizon grows. This paper considers properties of optimal forecasts under general loss functions and establishes new testable implications of forecast optimality. These hold when the forecaster’s loss function is unknown but testable restrictions can be imposed on the data generating process, trading off conditions on the data generating process against conditions on the loss function. Finally, we propose flexible parametric estimation of the forecaster’s loss function, and obtain a test of forecast optimality via a test of over-identifying restrictions.