Spanish Economic Review

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 161–173

Outline of forecast theory using generalized cost functions

  • Clive W.J. Granger

DOI: 10.1007/s101080050007

Cite this article as:
Granger, C. Span Econ Rev (1999) 1: 161. doi:10.1007/s101080050007


The cost functions used to form forecasts in practice may be quite different than the squared costs that is often assumed in forecast theory. The impact on evaluation procedures is determined and simple properties for the derivate of the cost function of the errors are found to provide simple tests of optimality. For a very limited class of situations are forecasts based on conditional means optimal, generally, the econometricians needs to provide the whole conditional predicted distribution. Implications for multi-step forecasts and the combination of forecasts are briefly considered.

JEL classification: C53, C32 
Key words: Optimum forecasts, cost functions, predictive distribution 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clive W.J. Granger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0508, USA (e-mail:

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