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When did the 2001 recession really start?

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  • Jörg Polzehl
  • Vladimir Spokoiny
  • Catalin Starica

Abstract

The paper develops a non-parametric, non-stationary framework for business-cycle dating based on an innovative statistical methodology known as Adaptive Weights Smoothing (AWS). The methodology is used both for the study of the individual macroeconomic time series relevant to the dating of the business cycle as well as for the estimation of their joint dynamic. Since the business cycle is defined as the common dynamic of some set of macroeconomic indicators, its estimation depends fundamentally on the group of series monitored. We apply our dating approach to two sets of US economic indicators including the monthly series of industrial production, nonfarm payroll employment, real income, wholesale-retail trade and gross domestic product (GDP). We find evidence of a change in the methodology of the NBER’s Business-Cycle Dating Committee an extended set of five monthly macroeconomic indicators replaced in the dating of the last recession the set of indicators emphasized by the NBER’s Business- Cycle Dating Committee in recent decades. This change seems to seriously affect the continuity in the outcome of the dating of business cycle. Had the dating been done on the traditional set of indicators, the last recession would have lasted one year and a half longer. We find that, independent of the set of coincident indicators monitored, the last economic contraction began in November 2000, four months before the date of the NBER’s Business-Cycle Dating Committee.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2006-032.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2006-032

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Keywords: business cycle; non-parametric smoothing; non-stationarity;

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References

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  1. Catalin Starica, 2004. "Is GARCH(1,1) as good a model as the Nobel prize accolades would imply?," Econometrics 0411015, EconWPA.
  2. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  3. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
  4. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1988. "A Probability Model of The Coincident Economic Indicators," NBER Working Papers 2772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1998. "Business Cycle Turning Points, A New Coincident Index, And Tests Of Duration Dependence Based On A Dynamic Factor Model With Regime Switching," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 188-201, May.
  7. Lawrence J. Cristiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1998. "The business cycle: it's still a puzzle," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 56-83.
  8. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1994. "Evidence on Structural Instability in Macroeconomic Time Series Relations," NBER Technical Working Papers 0164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Cătălin Stărică & Clive Granger, 2005. "Nonstationarities in Stock Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 503-522, August.
  10. Erica L. Groshen & Simon Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
  11. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  12. Sichel, Daniel E, 1994. "Inventories and the Three Phases of the Business Cycle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 269-77, July.
  13. Stock, J.H. & Watson, M.W., 1989. "New Indexes Of Coincident And Leading Economic Indicators," Papers 178d, Harvard - J.F. Kennedy School of Government.
  14. Diebold & Rudebusch, . "Measuring Business Cycle: A Modern Perspective," Home Pages _061, University of Pennsylvania.
  15. Otrok, Christopher & Whiteman, Charles H, 1998. "Bayesian Leading Indicators: Measuring and Predicting Economic Conditions in Iowa," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 997-1014, November.
  16. Boldin Michael D., 1996. "A Check on the Robustness of Hamilton's Markov Switching Model Approach to the Economic Analysis of the Business Cycle," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, April.
  17. J. Polzehl & V. G. Spokoiny, 2000. "Adaptive weights smoothing with applications to image restoration," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 62(2), pages 335-354.
  18. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1992. "A Procedure for Predicting Recessions With Leading Indicators: Econometric Issues and Recent Experience," NBER Working Papers 4014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Chauvet, Marcelle, 1998. "An Econometric Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 969-96, November.
  20. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2001. "Extracting, Using and Analysing Cyclical Information," MPRA Paper 15, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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