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Forecasting macro variables with a Qual VAR business cycle turning point index

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  • Michael Dueker
  • Katrin Assenmacher-Wesche

Abstract

One criticism of Vector Autoregression (VAR) forecasting is that macroeconomic variables tend not to behave as linear functions of their own past around business cycle turning points. A large amount of literature therefore focuses on nonlinear forecasting models, such as Markov switching models, which only indirectly capture the relation with turning points. This article investigates a direct approach to using information on turning points from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) chronology to model and forecast macroeconomic data. Our Qual VAR model includes a truncated normal latent business cycle index that is negative during NBER recessions and positive during expansions. We motivate our forecasting exercise by demonstrating that if starting from a linear specification, a truncated normal variable is an omitted variable, then forecasts of the remaining variables will become nonlinear functions of their own past. We apply the Qual VAR model to recursive out-of-sample forecasting and find that the Qual VAR improves on out-of-sample forecasts from a standard VAR.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2010)
Issue (Month): 23 ()
Pages: 2909-2920

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:23:p:2909-2920

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References

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  1. Michael Dueker, 1998. "Conditional heteroskedasticity in qualitative response models of time series: a Gibbs sampling approach to the bank prime rate," Working Papers 1998-011, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Chris R. Birchenhall & Marianne Sensier & Denise R. Osborn, 2000. "Predicting Uk Business Cycle Regimes," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 134, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Davis, E Philip & Fagan, Gabriel, 1997. "Are Financial Spreads Useful Indicators of Future Inflation and Output Growth in EU Countries?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(6), pages 701-14, Nov.-Dec..
  4. Chib, Siddhartha, 1993. "Bayes regression with autoregressive errors : A Gibbs sampling approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 275-294, August.
  5. Estrella, Arturo & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1997. "The predictive power of the term structure of interest rates in Europe and the United States: Implications for the European Central Bank," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1375-1401, July.
  6. Filardo, Andrew J, 1994. "Business-Cycle Phases and Their Transitional Dynamics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 299-308, July.
  7. Eichengreen, Barry & Watson, Mark W & Grossman, Richard S, 1985. "Bank Rate Policy under the Interwar Gold Standard: A Dynamic Probit Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 725-45, September.
  8. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1998. "Predicting U.S. Recessions: Financial Variables As Leading Indicators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 45-61, February.
  9. Norbert Funke, 1997. "Predicting recessions: Some evidence for Germany," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 90-102, March.
  10. Michael Dueker, 2005. "Dynamic Forecasts of Qualitative Variables: A Qual VAR Model of U.S. Recessions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 96-104, January.
  11. Bernard, Henri J & Gerlach, Stefan, 1998. "Does the Term Structure Predict Recessions? The International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1892, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Arturo Estrella & Anthony P. Rodrigues & Sebastian Schich, 2000. "How stable is the predictive power of the yield curve? evidence from Germany and the United States," Staff Reports 113, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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Cited by:
  1. Makram El-Shagi & Gregor von Schweinitz, 2012. "Qual VAR Revisited: Good Forecast, Bad Story," IWH Discussion Papers 12, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Adrian Pagan & Don Harding, 2011. "Econometric Analysis and Prediction of Recurrent Events," NCER Working Paper Series 75, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  3. Annette Meinusch & Peter Tillmann, 2014. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Unconventional Monetary Policy Shocks," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201426, Philipps-Universit├Ąt Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  4. Rachidi Kotchoni & Dalibor Stevanovic, 2013. "Probability and Severity of Recessions," Cahiers de recherche 1341, CIRPEE.

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