NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Assessing Point Forecast Accuracy by Stochastic Error Distance

Francis X. Diebold, Minchul Shin

NBER Working Paper No. 22516
Issued in August 2016
NBER Program(s):AP, EFG

We propose point forecast accuracy measures based directly on distance of the forecast-error c.d.f. from the unit step function at 0 ("stochastic error distance," or SED). We provide a precise characterization of the relationship between SED and standard predictive loss functions, and we show that all such loss functions can be written as weighted SED's. The leading case is absolute-error loss. Among other things, this suggests shifting attention away from conditional-mean forecasts and toward conditional-median forecasts.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22516

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