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

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Abstract

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.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Forecasting
  • Model comparison
  • Model selection
  • Out-of-sample tests

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Authors

  • Francis X. Diebold

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