Econ 460: Economic Forecasting, Spring 2017


Course Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30 – 3:45.   Social Science 5231


Instructor:  Bruce Hansen, 6438 Social Science.

Office Hours: Thursday 10:00-12:00, or by appointment.

Course Webpage


The course prerequisite is Econ 410.


This is a one semester introduction to econometric time series analysis, forecasting methods, and forecast evaluation. The course will cover theoretical, methodological and applied topics, and much of the work will be hands-on numerical analysis.


Most material will be posted on my course webpage. This will include problem sets, lectures, data sets, and Stata do files. I will post your grades, and problem set answers, at the Learn@UW Canvas course page.


The computer software Stata will be used for problem sets and the project. As a registered UW student, you can install it without charge on your own computer. To install Staa, go to the Campus Software Library, download and install. You can use on your computer as long as you are a UW student. You can alternatively purchase a permanent license from Stata.The advantage is that you will get the student price.


Alternatively, you can use the SSCC Winstat server to use Stata on your computer over the network. As a final alternative, you can use the software

 in the social science computer labs (rooms 4218 and 3218 in Social Science). You will need permission for this so contact me in that event.


The primary textbook is Forecasting in Economics, Business, Finance and Beyond by Francis X Diebold. At present, the text is available for free pdf


A supplemental required book is The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t by Nate Silver. Each week you will read one chapter from Silver’s book and write a one paragraph Reading Reflection.


Problem sets will be assigned weekly.  These assignments will include both problem solving and computer tasks.


A major component of the course is an independent forecasting project.


There will be one midterms and one final exam. 

Midterm exam: Tuesday, March 7 (during class).

Final exam: Wednesday, May 10: 12:25 – 2:25


The course grading will be divided as follows:

Problem sets: 15% 

Reading Reflections: 15%

Midterm: 20%

Project: 25%

Final Exam: 25%


If you would like to discuss career options and career skills learned as an economics major, you are encouraged to email the Department Career Coordinator, Elizabeth Foste at


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