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Does the Term Structure Predict Recessions? The International Evidence

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  • Bernard, Henri
  • Gerlach, Stefan

Abstract

Following Estrella and Hardouvelis (1991) and Estrella and Mishkin (1995), we study the ability of the term structure to predict recessions in eight countries. The results are fourfold. First, the yield curve predicts future recessions in all countries. Second, term spreads forecast recessions as much as 2 years ahead. Third, while German and US spreads are frequently significant in the regressions for the other countries, the added information is limited except in Japan and the UK. Fourth, while leading indicators contain information beyond that in term spreads, this information is only useful for forecasting recessions in the immediate future. These findings provide further evidence of the potential usefulness of term spreads as indicators for monetary policy purposes. Copyright @ 1998 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard, Henri & Gerlach, Stefan, 1998. "Does the Term Structure Predict Recessions? The International Evidence," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(3), pages 195-215, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijf:ijfiec:v:3:y:1998:i:3:p:195-215
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    3. Fama, Eugene F., 1990. "Term-structure forecasts of interest rates, inflation and real returns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 59-76, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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