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Dynamic forecasts of qualitative variables: a Qual VAR model of U.S. recessions

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  • Michael J. Dueker

Abstract

This article presents a new Qual VAR model for incorporating information from qualitative and/or discrete variables in vector autoregressions. With a Qual VAR, it is possible to create dynamic forecasts of the qualitative variable using standard VAR projections. Previous forecasting methods for qualitative variables, in contrast, only produce static forecasts. I apply the Qual VAR to forecasting the 2001 business recession out of sample and to analyzing the Romer and Romer (1989) narrative measure of monetary policy contractions as an endogenous variable in a VAR. Out of sample, the model predicts the timing of the 2001 recession quite well relative to the recession probabilities put forth at the time by professional forecasters. Qual VARs -- which include information about the qualitative variable -- can also enhance the quality of density forecasts of the other variables in the system.

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File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2001/2001-012.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2001-012.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, January 2005, 23(1), pp. 96-104
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2001-012

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Keywords: Forecasting ; Recessions ; Vector autoregression;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Oscar Jorda & James D. Hamilton, 2003. "A model for the federal funds rate target," Working Papers 997, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  3. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Karen K. Lewis, 1993. "Does foreign exchange intervention signal future monetary policy?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Reinhart, Carmen & Kaminsky, Graciela, 1999. "The twin crises: The causes of banking and balance of payments problems," MPRA Paper 14081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Dueker, Michael, 1999. "Conditional Heteroscedasticity in Qualitative Response Models of Time Series: A Gibbs-Sampling Approach to the Bank Prime Rate," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(4), pages 466-72, October.
  6. Ben Bernanke, 1990. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission," NBER Working Papers 3487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L, 1995. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Shocks to Monetary Policy on Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 975-1009, November.
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