For the private and public sector in any particular country it is crucial to know, which industries may exhibit comparative advantages, that for some reasons are not realized. This can efficiently help all current and potential actors to improve their economic strategy both at the micro- and macroeconomic level. In this paper we propose an approach of forecasting comparative advantages dynamics in foreign trade. The instrument is based on relative price differences and is efficient for countries in the process of economic liberalization. An empirical analysis based on the example of Central and East European countries confirms a good performance in the sense of predictive power of this instrument. On the example of Russia, experiencing a period of economic liberalization and with the prospect to join the WTO agreements, we demonstrate which sectors are most likely to contain comparative advantages in the near future.
The recent financial crisis has seen huge swings in corporate bond spreads. It is analyzed what quality VAR-based forecasts would have had prior and during the crisis period. Given that forecasts of the mean of interest rates or financial market prices are subject to large uncertainty independent of the class of models used, major emphasis is put on the quality of measures of forecast uncertainty. The VAR considered is based on a model first suggested in the literature in 2005. In a rolling window analysis, both the model’s forecasts and joint prediction bands are calculated making use of recently proposed methods. Besides a traditional analysis of the forecast quality, the performance of the proposed prediction bands is assessed. It is shown that the actual coverage of joint prediction bands is superior to the coverage of naïve prediction bands constructed pointwise.