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Working Paper

Specification Choices in Quantile Regression for Empirical Macroeconomics

Quantile regression has become widely used in empirical macroeconomics, in particular for estimating and forecasting tail risks to macroeconomic indicators. In this paper we examine various choices in the specification of quantile regressions for macro applications, for example, choices related to how and to what extent to include shrinkage, and whether to apply shrinkage in a classical or Bayesian framework. We focus on forecasting accuracy, using for evaluation both quantile scores and quantile-weighted continuous ranked probability scores at a range of quantiles spanning from the left to right tail. We find that shrinkage is generally helpful to tail forecast accuracy, with gains that are particularly large for GDP applications featuring large sets of predictors and unemployment and inflation applications, and with gains that increase with the forecast horizon.

Working Papers of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment on research in progress. They may not have been subject to the formal editorial review accorded official Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland publications. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Federal Reserve System.

Suggested Citation

Carriero, Andrea, Todd E. Clark, and Massimiliano Marcellino. 2022. “Specification Choices in Quantile Regression for Empirical Macroeconomics.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 22-25.