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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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  • 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. Anthony Garratt & Kevin Lee & Emi Mise & Kalvinder Shields, 2008. "Real-Time Representations of the Output Gap," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 792-804, November.
  2. S. Boragan Aruoba & Francis X. Diebold & Chiara Scotti, 2007. "Real-Time Measurement of Business Conditions," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-028, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. 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.
  4. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2000. "Forecast Uncertainties in Macroeconometric Modelling: An Application to the UK Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 345, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Porter, Richard D. & Reifschneider, David & Tetlow, Robert & Finan, Frederico, 2000. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 117-141.
  6. 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.
  7. Pesaran, M.H. & Timmermann, A., 1990. "A Simple, Non-Parametric Test Of Predictive Performance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9021, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  8. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2002. "The Unreliability of Output-Gap Estimates in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 569-583, November.
  9. Don Harding & Adrian Pagan, 2000. "Disecting the Cycle: A Methodological Investigation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1164, Econometric Society.
  10. Marcelle Chauvet & Jeremy Piger, 2002. "Identifying business cycle turning points in real time," Working Paper 2002-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  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. Anthony Garratt & Kevin Lee, 2006. "Investing Under Model Uncertainty: Decision Based Evaluation of Exchange Rate and Interest Rate Forecasts in the US, UK and Japan," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0616, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  13. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2006. "Synchronization of cycles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 59-79, May.
  14. Francis X. Diebold & Jinyong Hahn & Anthony S. Tay, 1999. "Multivariate Density Forecast Evaluation And Calibration In Financial Risk Management: High-Frequency Returns On Foreign Exchange," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 661-673, November.
  15. Beaudry, Paul & Koop, Gary, 1993. "Do recessions permanently change output?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-163, April.
  16. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  17. Edward E. Leamer, 2008. "What's a Recession, Anyway?," NBER Working Papers 14221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Anthony Garratt & Kevin Lee & Kalvinder Shields, 2014. "Forecasting Global Recessions in a GVAR Model of Actual and Expected Output in the G7," Discussion Papers 2014/06, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).

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