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Sequentially Forecasting Economic Indices Using Mixture Linear Combinations of EP Distributions

  • Autori: Agro, G; Lad, F; Sanfilippo, G
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2010
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Dow-Jones index, exponential power distributions, fat tails, logarithmic scoring rule, mixture distributions, partial exchangeability, proper scoring rules, subjective probability, subjectivist statistical methods.
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This article displays an application of the statistical method motivated by Bruno de Finetti's operational subjective theory of probability. We use exchangeable forecasting distributions based on mixtures of linear combinations of exponential power (EP) distributions to forecast the sequence of daily rates of return from the Dow-Jones index of stock prices over a 20 year period. The operational subjective statistical method for comparing distributions is quite different from that commonly used in data analysis, because it rejects the basic tenets underlying the practice of hypothesis testing. In its place, proper scoring rules for forecast distributions are used to assess the values of various forecasting strategies. Using a logarithmic scoring rule, we find that a mixture linear combination of EP distributions scores markedly better than does a simple mixture over the EP family, which scores much better than does a simple Normal mixture. Surprisingly, a mixture over a linear combination of three Normal distributions also makes a substantial improvement over a simple Normal mixture, although it does not quite match the performance of even the simple EP mixture. All substantive forecasting improvements become most marked after extreme tail phenomena were actually observed in the sequence, in particular after the abrupt drop in market prices in October, 1987. However, the improvements continue to be apparent over the long haul of 1985-2006 which has seen a number of extreme price changes. This result is supported by an analysis of the Negentropies embedded in the forecasting distributions, and a proper scoring analysis of these Negentropies as well.