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David F. Hendry

David F. Hendry is Professor of Economics and Director of the Program in Economic Modeling, Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.

Titles by This Author

Automatic Selection Methods in Econometrics

Economic models of empirical phenomena are developed for a variety of reasons, the most obvious of which is the numerical characterization of available evidence, in a suitably parsimonious form. Another is to test a theory, or evaluate it against the evidence; still another is to forecast future outcomes. Building such models involves a multitude of decisions, and the large number of features that need to be taken into account can overwhelm the researcher.

In their second book on economic forecasting, Michael Clements and David Hendry ask why some practices seem to work empirically despite a lack of formal support from theory. After reviewing the conventional approach to economic forecasting, they look at the implications for causal modeling, present a taxonomy of forecast errors, and delineate the sources of forecast failure. They show that forecast-period shifts in deterministic factors—interacting with model misspecification, collinearity, and inconsistent estimation—are the dominant source of systematic failure.

Titles by This Editor

Historically, the theory of forecasting that underpinned actual practice in economics has been based on two key assumptions?-that the model was a good representation of the economy and that the structure of the economy would remain relatively unchanged. In reality, forecast models are mis-specified, the economy is subject to unanticipated shifts, and the failure to make accurate predictions is relatively common.