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Dynamic Forecasts of Qualitative Variables: A Qual VAR Model of U.S. Recessions

  • Michael Dueker

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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Article provided by American Statistical Association in its journal Journal of Business and Economic Statistics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
Issue (Month): (January)
Pages: 96-104

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Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:23:y:2005:p:96-104
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  1. Ben Bernanke, 1990. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission," NBER Working Papers 3487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James D. Hamilton & Oscar Jorda, 2002. "A Model of the Federal Funds Rate Target," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1135-1167, October.
  3. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1995. "Predicting U.S. Recessions: Financial Variables as Leading Indicators," NBER Working Papers 5379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1996. "The twin crises: the causes of banking and balance-of-payments problems," International Finance Discussion Papers 544, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. 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.
  6. Graciela Kaminsky & Karen K. Lewis, 1993. "Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Signal Future Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 4298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1995. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Shocks to Monetary Policy on Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 975-1009.
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