NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Comparing Predictive Accuracy, Twenty Years Later: A Personal Perspective on the Use and Abuse of Diebold-Mariano Tests

Francis X. Diebold

NBER Working Paper No. 18391
Issued in September 2012
NBER Program(s):   AP   EFG   IFM   TWP

The Diebold-Mariano (DM) test was intended for comparing forecasts; it has been, and remains, useful in that regard. The DM test was not intended for comparing models. Unfortunately, however, much of the large subsequent literature uses DM-type tests for comparing models, in (pseudo-) out-of-sample environments. In that case, much simpler yet more compelling full-sample model comparison procedures exist; they have been, and should continue to be, widely used. The hunch that (pseudo-) out-of-sample analysis is somehow the "only," or "best," or even a "good" way to provide insurance against in-sample over-fitting in model comparisons proves largely false. On the other hand, (pseudo-) out-of-sample analysis may be useful for learning about comparative historical predictive performance.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18391

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