IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Predicting financial crises: The (statistical) significance of the signals approach

  • El-Shagi, M.
  • Knedlik, T.
  • von Schweinitz, G.

The signals approach as an early-warning system has been fairly successful in detecting crises, but it has so far failed to gain popularity in the scientific community because it cannot distinguish between randomly achieved in-sample fit and true predictive power. To overcome this obstacle, we test the null hypothesis of no correlation between indicators and crisis probability in three applications of the signals approach to different crisis types. To that end, we propose bootstraps specifically tailored to the characteristics of the respective datasets. We find (1) that previous applications of the signals approach yield economically meaningful results; (2) that composite indicators aggregating information contained in individual indicators add value to the signals approach; and (3) that indicators which are found to be significant in-sample usually perform similarly well out-of-sample.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Money and Finance.

Volume (Year): 35 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 76-103

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:35:y:2013:i:c:p:76-103
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. Alessi, Lucia & Detken, Carsten, 2011. "Quasi real time early warning indicators for costly asset price boom/bust cycles: A role for global liquidity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 520-533, September.
  3. Rose, Andrew K. & Spiegel, Mark M., 2011. "Cross-country causes and consequences of the crisis: An update," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 309-324, April.
  4. Kristina Kittelmann & Marcel Tirpak & Rainer Schweickert & Lúcio Vinhas De Souza, 2006. "From Transition Crises to Macroeconomic Stability? Lessons from a Crises Early Warning System for Eastern European and CIS Countries," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 48(3), pages 410-434, September.
  5. Hali J. Edison, 2003. "Do indicators of financial crises work? An evaluation of an early warning system," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 11-53.
  6. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
  7. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2001. "Tests for Skewness, Kurtosis, and Normality for Time Series Data," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 501, Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Bussiere, Matthieu & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2008. "Low probability, high impact: Policy making and extreme events," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 111-121.
  9. 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.).
  10. Knedlik, Tobias & von Schweinitz, Gregor, 2011. "Macroeconomic Imbalances as Indicators for Debt Crises in Europe," IWH Discussion Papers 12/2011, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
  11. W. R. M. Perraudin & Manmohan S. Kumar & Uma Moorthy, 2002. "Predicting Emerging Market Currency Crashes," IMF Working Papers 02/7, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Brüggemann, Axel & Linne, Thomas, 2002. "Are the Central and Eastern European transition countries still vulnerable to a financial crisis? Results from the signals approach," BOFIT Discussion Papers 5/2002, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  13. Claudio Borio & Mathias Drehmann, 2009. "Assessing the risk of banking crises - revisited," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
  14. Peng, Duan & Bajona, Claustre, 2008. "China's vulnerability to currency crisis: A KLR signals approach," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 138-151, June.
  15. Fratzscher, Marcel & Matthieu Bussiere, 2003. "Towards A New Early Warning System of Financial Crises," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 81, Royal Economic Society.
  16. Graciela Laura Kaminsky, 1999. "Currency and Banking Crises; The Early Warnings of Distress," IMF Working Papers 99/178, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Kaminsky, Graciela L., 2006. "Currency crises: Are they all the same?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 503-527, April.
  18. Tobias Knedlik & Rolf Scheufele, 2008. "Forecasting Currency Crises: Which Methods Signaled The South African Crisis Of June 2006?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(3), pages 367-383, 09.
  19. Abdul d Abiad, 2003. "Early Warning Systems; A Survey and a Regime-Switching Approach," IMF Working Papers 03/32, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Frankel, Jeffrey A. & Rose, Andrew K., 1996. "Currency Crashes in Emerging Markets: Empirical Indicators," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers 233424, University of California-Berkeley, Department of Economics.
  21. Brüggemann, Axel & Linne, Thomas, 2002. "Are the Central and Eastern European Transition Countries still vullnerable to an Financial Crisis? Results from the Signals Approach," IWH Discussion Papers 157, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
  22. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 1996. "Currency crashes in emerging markets: an empirical treatment," International Finance Discussion Papers 534, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  23. Berg, Andrew & Pattillo, Catherine, 1999. "Predicting currency crises:: The indicators approach and an alternative," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 561-586, August.
  24. Mariano Roberto S & Gultekin Bulent N & Ozmucur Suleyman & Shabbir Tayyeb & Alper C. Emre, 2004. "Prediction of Currency Crises: Case of Turkey," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-21, August.
  25. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
  26. 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.
  27. repec:zbw:iwhdps:12-11 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:35:y:2013:i:c:p:76-103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.