Sunday, August 14, 2016

Nearest-Neighbor Forecasting in Times of Crisis

Nonparametric K-nearest-neighbor forecasting remains natural and obvious and potentially very useful, as it has been since its inception long ago.

[Most crudely: Find the K-history closest to the present K-history, see what followed it, and use that as a forecast. Slightly less crudely: Find the N K-histories closest to the present K-history, see what followed each of them, and take an average. There are many obvious additional refinements.]

Overall, nearest-neighbor forecasting remains curiously under-utilized in dynamic econometrics. Maybe that will change. In an interesting recent development, for example, new Federal Reserve System research by Pablo Guerron-Quintana and Molin Zhong puts nearest-neighbor methods to good use for forecasting in times of crisis.