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Evaluating the Accuracy of Forecasts from Vector Autoregressions

This paper surveys recent developments in the evaluation of point and density forecasts in the context of forecasts made by Vector Autoregressions. Specific emphasis is placed on highlighting those parts of the existing literature that are applicable to direct multi-step forecasts and those parts that are applicable to iterated multi-step forecasts. This literature includes advancements in the evaluation of forecasts in population (based on true, unknown model coefficients) and the evaluation of forecasts in the finite sample (based on estimated model coefficients). The paper then examines in Monte Carlo experiments the finite-sample properties of some tests of equal forecast accuracy, focusing on the comparison of VAR forecasts to AR forecasts. These experiments show the tests to behave as should be expected given the theory. For example, using critical values obtained by bootstrap methods, tests of equal accuracy in population have empirical size about equal to nominal size.

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