Forecasting the Market Equity Premium: Does Nonlinearity Matter?

  •  Anwen Yin    


We propose using the nonlinear method of smoothing splines in conjunction with forecast combination to predict the market equity premium. The smooth splines are flexible enough to capture the possible nonlinear relationship between the equity premium and predictive variables while controlling for complexity, overcoming the difficulties often attached to nonlinear methods such as computational cost, overfitting and interpretation. Our empirical results show that when used with forecast combination, the smoothing spline forecasts outperform many competing methods such as the adaptive combinations, shrinkage estimators and technical indicators, in delivering statistical and economic gains consistently.

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