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FFC Brown Bag Seminar Archive Page

Federal Forecasters Consortium Archive Page 

Federal Forecasters Consortium Past Brown Bag Seminars.


Thursday, December 11, 2008
“Macroeconomic Outlook” 
Chris Varvares, President, Macroeconomic Advisers

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 Special Time 2:30 pm

“The Asymmetric Business Cycle"
Special Joint Seminar with the GWU Macro-International Seminar Series
James Morley, Washington University in St Louis with Jeremy Piger

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

“Understanding and Forecasting House Prices in the United States and Around the Globe" Prakash Loungani,
Joint work with Charles Collyns and Natalia Tamirisa

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"The Use of Encompassing Tests for Forecast Combinations"
Turgut Kisinbay, International Monetary Fund

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"The Housing Bubble and the Resulting Impact on Employment"
Kathryn Byun, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Abstract: From the late 1990s through 2006, investment in residential construction grew at an unprecedented rate. This demand resulted in jobs not only in the construction industry but throughout the economy. Using the input output system developed by the Employment Projections program within the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can estimate the employment by both industry and occupation that was generated to meet this run-up in demand.  Historical data from 1996-2006 and projected data for 2016 will be examined for residential and nonresidential construction and compared to overall demand.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"An Absorption Approach to Modeling the U.S. Current Account," 
Ed Gamber, Lafayette College, co-authored with Juann Hung, Congressional Budget Office

Thursday, February 21, 2008 
"Coupled Economies, Decoupled Forecasters?" by Prakash Loungani, International Monetary Fund

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Integrating Judgmental and Quantitative Forecasts" by Stephen MacDonald, Senior Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA

Abstract: Traditional methods of forecasting international commodity trade are no longer feasible for the Department of Agriculture.  Declining human resources, and the increased availability of timely trade data are forcing a transition to more quantitative approaches from the traditional system of reports from overseas embassies.  This study examines how empirical confidence intervals can help bridge the gap between USDA’s judgmental, Delphic approach and the efficient application of growing quantitative resources.

Thursday, November 8, 2007:  Julie Smith, Lafayette College
"Has the Fed's Forecasting Advantage Eroded?" co-authored with Ed Gamber

Abstract: We examine the relative improvement in forecasting accuracy of the Federal Reserve (Greenbook forecasts) and private-sector forecasts (the Survey of Professional Forecasters and Blue Chip Economic Indicators) for inflation and real output growth. Previous research by Romer and Romer (2000), and Sims (2002) showed that the Fed is more accurate than the private sector at forecasting both inflation and real output growth. In a separate line of research, Atkeson and Ohanian (2001), Stock and Watson (2006), Tulip (2005) and Campbell (2007) document changes in the forecastability of inflation and output growth since the Great Moderation. These works suggest that the Great Moderation was mostly due to a decline in the variability of the predictable component of real output growth and inflation. We hypothesis that this drop has evened the playing field between the Fed and private sector and therefore led to an erosion, if not disappearance, of the Fed's relative forecasting advantage. We test this hypothesis and find that the Fed's relative forecasting advantage with respect to inflation has eroded, especially since the mid-1990s, but their forecast errors still appear to be slightly smaller than the private sectors'. With respect to real output growth our results are more mixed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007:  Tara Sinclair

"Jointly Evaluating the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Forecasts of Real GDP Growth and Inflation," co-authored with Herman Stekler and Elizabeth Reid

Tuesday August 7, 2007 by Antony Davies

“A Framework for Decomposing Shocks and Measuring Volatilities Derived from Multi-Dimensional Panel Data of Survey Forecasts”

April 17, 2007

A Survey of Results from Sports Forecasts” by Herman Stekler (joint with the GWU Microeconomics Seminar).

March 20, 2007

"Forecasting Interments and Gravesites in National Cemeteries, the New Model"
by Kathleen Sorensen of the Veterans Administration.

February 20, 2007

"Evaluating BLS Labor Force, Employment,  and Occupation Projections for 2000" by H.O. Stekler and Rupin Thomas.

January 9, 2007

"Directional Forecasts of GDP and Inflation: A Joint Evaluation With an Application to Federal Reserve Predictions" by Tara M. Sinclair, H.O. Stekler, and Lindsay Kitzinger.
Slide Presentation

May 9, 2006

Tracy L. Foertsch from The Heritage Foundation will present "Calibrating Macroeconomic-and-Microsimulation Models to CBO’s Baseline Projections" Abstract

April 5, 2006

Frederick L. Joutz, from The George Washington University presented "Regional Short-term Electricity Consumption Models".
Slide Presentation (348 kb pdf format)

March 1, 2006

H.O. Stekler, from The George Washington University presented "The Future of Macroeconomic Forecasting: Understanding the Forecasting Process".
Slide Presentation (186 kb pdf format)

January 11, 2005

Russell (Rusty) Geiman, Chief Projections and Forecasting Group within the IRS Office of Research, Analysis and Statistics presented "Overview of Projections, Data and Other Research Information Available from IRS".
Slide Presentation (139 kb pdf format)

December 14, 2004

Greg Won, from the Office of the Actuary, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, presented "Long Term Health Care Spending".
Slide Presentation (323 kb pdf format)

November 9, 2004:  Brian W Sloboda, David Chien, US Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics

“The Integration US Transportation Satellite Accounts into the Bureau of Transportation Statistics Economic Analysis Modeling System (BTEAMS)

Abstract: The Transportation Satellite Accounts (TSAs) will be used primarily as a source of data for analysis of transportation-related issues and will be a major driver in the Bureau of Transportation Statistics Economic Analysis modeling System (BTEAMS), a forecasting model analyzing the effects of various policies on transportation. The primary purpose of the TSAs is to produce more comprehensive economic measures of all transportation activities, both in terms of their contribution to the economy and their use of inputs from other industries in the economy. More specifically, the current US Input-Output Accounts do not show the complete contribution of private transportation to the national economy. As a remedy, the TSAs represent an extension of the US Input-Output Accounts to show the contribution of private waterborne transportation and other private modes to the national economy. The TSA’s will cover both for-hire and in-house (private) transportation activities. For-hire activity is already identified as transportation within the US Input-Output Accounts; however, neither in-house transportation conducted by businesses with their own resources for their own use. From this present analysis, the development of the TSAs will enable analysts to determine the total contribution of private transportation to the total contribution to the national economy, and the analysis will also discuss how the TSAs will be incorporated into the BTEAMS modeling system
September 14, 2004

Title and Presenter: An Evaluation of BLS Labor Force, Employment, and Occupation Forecasts for the Year 2000, presented by Dr. Herman Stekler of GWU
Abstract: This paper evaluates the labor force, employment by industry, and occupation projections that BLS made in 1989 for the year 2000. These forecasts have been evaluated previously but it is possible to ask additional questions and to use evaluation methodologies that are different from those employed earlier.

June 8, 2004

Title and Presenter: Predictable Uncertainty and Forecast Failure: A First Look at the Issues, presented by Fred Joutz of GWU
Abstract: The seminar presented an introduction to recent research in the area of what forecasters know and don't know when they forecast and the decomposition of forecast errors. Objective: to obtain an understanding of what a forecast is conditioned upon and the potential sources for the forecasts missing the mark. The traditional approach to sources of forecast error focused on bias, measurement error, and the estimated variance. Clements and Hendry have developed a more modern rigorous taxonomy of forecast failure and suggested or provided a theoretical justification for attempting to fix or avoid forecast failures.

May 11, 2004

Title: The Use of Econometric and Time Series Methods in Health Care Forecasting
Federal Forecasters Consortium/George Washington University Economic Forecasting Seminar Series
Presented by Richard Bjorklund, Carl F. Newman, and Donald Stockford, Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs
Abstract: Issues and methodologies in developing forecasts of demand for health care services are the central theme of this presentation and discussion. Modeling methods proven in forecasting and tracking such things as gross national product, crop yields, and livestock production are, in many circumstances, appropriate to the issue of addressing demand for health care services. In particular, traditional econometric models along with univariate time series methods such as the Box-Jenkins Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) method have considerable appeal to predicting future hospital or outpatient care usage and allow for statistical testing of model accuracy and validity. There is considerable potential for incorporating conceptual complexity, explanatory detail, and variance minimization into health care related forecasts based on traditional econometric and time series methods.
Slide Presentation (673 kb pdf format)

April 13, 2004

USDA Baseline: Process, Models, and Applications
Federal Forecasters Consortium/George Washington University Economic Forecasting Seminar Series
Paul Westcott
Abstract (9 kb pdf format)
Slide Presentation (195 kb pdf format