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What is the Posterior Mean Panel Predictor?

Accurate predictions with micro-panels

Micro-panels are longitudinal data sets that contain observations on multiple units at only a few points in time. Examples include the performance of start-up companies, developmental skills of small children or revenues and leverage of banks after significant regulatory changes. When working with micro-panels, it is challenging to build accurate predictive models, as the time series are too short to contain enough information on their own.

Posterior Mean Panel Predictor (PMPP) takes an empirical-Bayes approach to computing forecasts with micro-panels. It uses cross-sectional information in the data to approximate the posterior mean of heterogeneous coefficients under a correlated random effects distribution. It has been shown to provide predictions of higher accuracy compared to the state-of-the-art methods for dynamic panel modelling. For more details, see the references in pmpp() function manual.

Package features

The package allows for the following:

Additionally, the package exports a number of functions that can be used outside of the scope of PMPP modelling:

How to use

The central function in the package is pmpp(). It estimates the model’s coefficients and outputs an object of class pmpp. This class has the plot and summary methods, with the former plotting the distribution of individual-specific effects and the latter allowing to inspect model’s coeffcients and fit measures.

To compute predictions with the PMPP model, one needs to construct the forecast frame with create_fframe(). The forecast frame and the corresponding model object can be passed along to the predict method to obtain forecasts.

In order to calculate prediction intervals, the pmpp_predinterval() function can be used. This function, similarly to the predict method, takes the model object and the forecast frame as inputs. Be warned: bootstrapping of prediction interval might take time!

Usage example

# Get data
data(EmplUK, package = "plm")
EmplUK <- dplyr::filter(EmplUK, year %in% c(1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982))

# Run the model predicting employment
pmpp_model <- pmpp(dep_var = "emp", data = EmplUK)
summary(pmpp_model)

# Compute predictions for following three years
my_fframe <- create_fframe(EmplUK, 1983:1985)
prediction <- predict(pmpp_model, my_fframe)

# Compute prediction intervals
intervals <- pmpp_predinterval(pmpp_model, my_fframe, bootReps = 20, confidence = 0.95)