Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.627777
Title: Essays on forecast evaluation and financial econometrics
Author: Lund-Jensen, Kasper
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
This thesis consists of three papers that makes independent contributions to the fields of forecast evaluation and financial econometrics. As such, the papers, chapter 1-3, can be read independently of each other. In Chapter 1, “Inferring an agent’s loss function based on a term structure of forecasts”, we provide conditions for identification, estimation and inference of an agent’s loss function based on an observed term structure of point forecasts. The loss function specification is flexible as we allow the preferences to be both asymmetric and to vary non-linearly across the forecast horizon. In addition, we introduce a novel forecast rationality test based on the estimated loss function. We employ the approach to analyse the U.S. Government’s preferences over budget surplus forecast errors. Interestingly, we find that it is relatively more costly for the government to underestimate the budget surplus and that this asymmetry is stronger at long forecast horizons. In Chapter 2, “Monitoring Systemic Risk”, we define systemic risk as the conditional probability of a systemic banking crisis. This conditional probability is modelled in a fixed effect binary response panel-model framework that allows for cross-sectional dependence (e.g. due to contagion effects). In the empirical application we identify several risk factors and it is shown that the level of systemic risk contains a predictable component which varies through time. Furthermore, we illustrate how the forecasts of systemic risk map into dynamic policy thresholds in this framework. Finally, by conducting a pseudo out-of-sample exercise we find that the systemic risk estimates provided reliable early-warning signals ahead of the recent financial crisis for several economies. Finally, in Chapter 3, “Equity Premium Predictability”, we reassess the evidence of out-of- sample equity premium predictability. The empirical finance literature has identified several financial variables that appear to predict the equity premium in-sample. However, Welch & Goyal (2008) find that none of these variables have any predictive power out-of-sample. We show that the equity premium is predictable out-of-sample once you impose certain shrinkage restrictions on the model parameters. The approach is motivated by the observation that many of the proposed financial variables can be characterised as ’weak predictors’ and this suggest that a James-Stein type estimator will provide a substantial risk reduction. The out-of-sample explanatory power is small, but we show that it is, in fact, economically meaningful to an investor with time-invariant risk aversion. Using a shrinkage decomposition we also show that standard combination forecast techniques tends to ’overshrink’ the model parameters leading to suboptimal model forecasts.
Supervisor: Sheppard, Kevin; Shephard, Neil Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.627777  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economics ; Econometrics ; Financial economics ; Forecast Rationality ; Loss Function ; Term Structure of Forecasts; Systemic Risk ; Macroprudential Policy ; Binary Response Panel Model; Equity Premium ; Forecast Evaluation ; James-Stein Estimator
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