Some Theoretical Results on Forecast Combinations
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This paper proposes a framework for the analysis of the theoretical properties of forecast combination, with the forecast performance being measured in terms of mean squared forecast errors (MSFE). Such a framework is useful for deriving all existing results with ease. In addition, it also provides insights into two forecast combination puzzles. Specifically, it investigates why a simple average of forecasts often outperforms forecasts from single models in terms of MSFEs, and why a more complicated weighting scheme does not always perform better than a simple average. In addition, this paper presents two new findings that are particularly relevant in practice. First, the MSFE of a forecast combination decreases as the number of models increases. Second, the conventional approach to the selection of optimal models, based on a simple comparison of MSFEs without further statistical testing, leads to a biased selection.
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