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The role of economic policy uncertainty in predicting U.S. recessions: A mixed-frequency Markov-switching vector autoregressive approach

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  • Balcilar, Mehmet
  • Gupta, Rangan
  • Segnon, Mawuli

Abstract

This paper analyzes the performance of the monthly economic policy uncertainty (EPU) index in predicting recessionary regimes of the (quarterly) U.S. GDP. In this regard, the authors apply a mixed-frequency Markov-switching vector autoregressive (MF-MS-VAR) model, and compare its in-sample and out-of-sample forecasting performances to those of a Markov-switching vector autoregressive model (MS-VAR, where the EPU is averaged over the months to produce quarterly values) and a Markov-switching autoregressive (MS-AR) model. Their results show that the MF-MS-VAR fits the different recession regimes, and provides out-of-sample forecasts of recession probabilities which are more accurate than those derived from the MS-VAR and MS-AR models. The results highlight the importance of using high-frequency values of the EPU, and not averaging them to obtain quarterly values, when forecasting recessionary regimes for the U.S. economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Balcilar, Mehmet & Gupta, Rangan & Segnon, Mawuli, 2016. "The role of economic policy uncertainty in predicting U.S. recessions: A mixed-frequency Markov-switching vector autoregressive approach," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 10, pages 1-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201627
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2016-27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:6:p:1052-1064 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kazutaka Kurasawa, 2016. "Policy Uncertainty and Foreign Exchange Rates: The DCC-GARCH Model of the US / Japanese Foreign Exchange Rate," International Journal of Economic Sciences, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences, vol. 5(4), pages 1-19, December.
    3. Mehmet Balcilar & Rangan Gupta & Clement Kyei & Mark E. Wohar, 2016. "Does Economic Policy Uncertainty Predict Exchange Rate Returns and Volatility? Evidence from a Nonparametric Causality-in-Quantiles Test," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 229-250, April.
    4. Christina Christou & Rangan Gupta, 2016. "Forecasting Equity Premium in a Panel of OECD Countries: The Role of Economic Policy Uncertainty," Working Papers 201622, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    5. Antonakakis, Nikolaos & Gabauer, David & Gupta, Rangan & Plakandaras, Vasilios, 2018. "Dynamic connectedness of uncertainty across developed economies: A time-varying approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 166(C), pages 63-75.
    6. Mehmet Balcilar & Riza Demirer & Rangan Gupta & Reneé van Eyden, 2016. "Effectiveness of Monetary Policy in the Euro Area: The Role of US Economic Policy Uncertainty," Working Papers 201620, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    7. Rangan Gupta & Chi Keung Marco Lau & Mark E. Wohar, 2016. "The Impact of US Uncertainty on the Euro Area in Good and Bad Times: Evidence from a Quantile Structural Vector Autoregressive Model," Working Papers 201681, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    8. Mawuli Segnon & Rangan Gupta & Stelios Bekiros & Mark E. Wohar, 2016. "Forecasting US GNP Growth: The Role of Uncertainty," Working Papers 201667, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    9. Christou, Christina & Cunado, Juncal & Gupta, Rangan & Hassapis, Christis, 2017. "Economic policy uncertainty and stock market returns in PacificRim countries: Evidence based on a Bayesian panel VAR model," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 92-102.
    10. Christian Pierdzioch & Rangan Gupta, 2017. "Uncertainty and Forecasts of U.S. Recessions," Working Papers 201732, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:agr:journl:v:3(612):y:2017:i:3(612):p:29-38 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycles; economic policy uncertainty; mixed frequency; Markovswitching VAR models;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models

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