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Disentangling economic recessions and depressions

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  • Candelon, Bertrand
  • Metiu, Norbert
  • Straetmans, Stefan

Abstract

We propose a nonparametric test that distinguishes 'depressions' and 'booms' from ordinary recessions and expansions. Depressions and booms are defined as coming from another underlying process than recessions and expansions. We find four depressions and booms in the NBER business cycle between 1919 and 2009, including the Great Depression and the World War II boom. Our results suggest that the recent Great Recession does not qualify as a depression. Multinomial logistic regressions show that stock returns, output growth, and inflation exhibit predictive power for depressions. Surprisingly, the term spread is not a leading indicator of depressions, in contrast to recessions.

Suggested Citation

  • Candelon, Bertrand & Metiu, Norbert & Straetmans, Stefan, 2013. "Disentangling economic recessions and depressions," Discussion Papers 43/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdps:432013
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycles; Depression; Leading indicators; Multinomial logistic regression; Nonparametric statistics; Outlier;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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