On the Aggregation of Probability Assessments: Regularized Mixtures of Predictive Densities for Eurozone Inflation and Real Interest Rates

Abstract

We propose methods for constructing regularized mixtures of density forecasts. We explore a variety of objectives and regularization penalties, and we use them in a substantive exploration of Eurozone inflation and real interest rate density forecasts. All individual inflation forecasters (even the ex post best forecaster) are outperformed by our regularized mixtures. The log scores of the Simplex and Best-Average mixtures, for example, are approximately 7% better than that of the ex post best individual forecaster, and 15% better than that of the median forecaster. From the Great Recession onward, the optimal regularization tends to move density forecasts’ probability mass from the centers to the tails, correcting for overconfidence.

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