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What predicts U.S. recessions?

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Abstract

We reassess the predictability of U.S. recessions at horizons from three months to two years ahead for a large number of previously proposed leading-indicator variables. We employ an efficient probit estimator for partially missing data and assess relative model performance based on the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. While the Treasury term spread has the highest predictive power at horizons four to six quarters ahead, adding lagged observations of the term spread significantly improves the predictability of recessions at shorter horizons. Moreover, balances in broker-dealer margin accounts significantly improve the precision of recession predictions, especially at horizons further out than one year.

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  • Liu, Weiling & Moench, Emanuel, 2014. "What predicts U.S. recessions?," Staff Reports 691, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:691
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Brugnolini, 2018. "Forecasting Deflation Probability in the EA: A Combinatoric Approach," CBM Working Papers WP/01/2018, Central Bank of Malta.
    2. Hashmat Khan & Santosh Upadhayaya, 2017. "Does Business Confidence Matter for Investment?," Carleton Economic Papers 17-13, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    3. Knut Are Aastveit & André K. Anundsen & Eyo I. Herstad, 2017. "Residential investment and recession predictability," Working Papers No 8/2017, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
    4. repec:eee:phsmap:v:489:y:2018:i:c:p:102-111 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Vasilios Plakandaras & Juncal Cunado & Rangan Gupta & Mark E. Wohar, 2016. "Do Leading Indicators Forecast U.S. Recessions? A Nonlinear Re-Evaluation Using Historical Data," Working Papers 201685, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    6. Christian Pierdzioch & Rangan Gupta, 2017. "Uncertainty and Forecasts of U.S. Recessions," Working Papers 201732, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    7. repec:ove:journl:aid:12012 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Döpke, Jörg & Fritsche, Ulrich & Pierdzioch, Christian, 2017. "Predicting recessions with boosted regression trees," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 745-759.
    9. Homburg, Stefan, 2017. "A Study in Monetary Macroeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198807537.
    10. Jörg Döpke & Ulrich Fritsche & Karsten Müller, 2018. "Has Macroeconomic Forecasting changed after the Great Recession? - Panel-based Evidence on Accuracy and Forecaster Behaviour from Germany," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201803, University of Hamburg, Department of Socioeconomics.
    11. repec:spr:jbuscr:v:13:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s41549-017-0014-9 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    recession predictability; ROC; term spread; leading indicators; efficient probit estimator;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • 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

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