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Decision-making in hard times: What is a recession, why do we care and how do we know when we are in one?

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Author Info

  • Lee, Kevin
  • Shields, Kalvinder K.

Abstract

Defining a recessionary event as one which impacts adversely on individuals' economic well-being, the paper argues that recession is a multi-faceted phenomenon whose meaning differs from person to person as it impacts on their decision-making in real time. It argues that recession is best represented through the calculation of the nowcast of recession event probabilities. A variety of such probabilities are produced using a real-time data set for the US for the period, focusing on the likelihood of various recessionary events through 1986q1-2008q4 and on prospects beyond the end of the sample.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The North American Journal of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 22 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 43-60

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:22:y:2011:i:1:p:43-60

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620163

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Keywords: Recession Probability forecasts Real time;

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References

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  1. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2001. "The Unreliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-57, CIRANO.
  2. Don Harding & Adrian Pagan, 2000. "Disecting the Cycle: A Methodological Investigation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1164, Econometric Society.
  3. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2006. "Synchronization of cycles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 59-79, May.
  4. Pesaran, M.H. & Timmermann, A., 1990. "A Simple Non-Parametric Test Of Predictive Performance," Papers 29, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  5. Aruoba, S. BoraÄŸan & Diebold, Francis X. & Scotti, Chiara, 2009. "Real-Time Measurement of Business Conditions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27(4), pages 417-427.
  6. Marcelle Chauvet & Jeremy M. Piger, 2003. "Identifying business cycle turning points in real time," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 47-61.
  7. Kevin Lee & Emi Mise & Kalvinder Shields & Tony Garratt, 2005. "Real time Representations of the Output Gap," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 26, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  8. Garrat, A. & Lee, K. & Pesaran, M.H. & Shin, Y., 2000. "Forecast Uncertainties in Macroeconometric Modelling: An Application to the UK Economy," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0004, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Lee, Kevin & Olekalns, Nils & Shields, Kalvinder K, 2009. "Nowcasting, Business Cycle Dating and the Interpretation of New Information when Real-Time Data are Available," CEPR Discussion Papers 7426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Athanasios Orphanides & Richard D. Porter & David Reifschneider & Robert Tetlow & Frederico Finan, 1999. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Diebold, Francis X & Gunther, Todd A & Tay, Anthony S, 1998. "Evaluating Density Forecasts with Applications to Financial Risk Management," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 863-83, November.
  12. Beaudry, Paul & Koop, Gary, 1993. "Do recessions permanently change output?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-163, April.
  13. Philip Hans Franses & Herman K. van Dijk & Dick van Dijk, 2005. "On the dynamics of business cycle analysis: editors' introduction," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 147-150.
  14. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  15. Edward E. Leamer, 2008. "What's a Recession, Anyway?," NBER Working Papers 14221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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