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Author:Cook, Thomas R. 

Working Paper
Assessing Macroeconomic Tail Risks in a Data-Rich Environment

We use a large set of economic and financial indicators to assess tail risks of the three macroeconomic variables: real GDP, unemployment, and inflation. When applied to U.S. data, we find evidence that a dense model using principal components (PC) as predictors might be misspecified by imposing the “common slope” assumption on the set of predictors across multiple quantiles. The common slope assumption ignores the heterogeneous informativeness of individual predictors on different quantiles. However, the parsimony of the PC-based approach improves the accuracy of out-of-sample forecasts ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 19-12

Working Paper
Macroeconomic Indicator Forecasting with Deep Neural Networks

Economic policymaking relies upon accurate forecasts of economic conditions. Current methods for unconditional forecasting are dominated by inherently linear models {{p}} that exhibit model dependence and have high data demands. {{p}} We explore deep neural networks as an {{p}} opportunity to improve upon forecast accuracy with limited data and while remaining agnostic as to {{p}} functional form. We focus on predicting civilian unemployment using models based on four different neural network architectures. Each of these models outperforms bench- mark models at short time horizons. One model, ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 17-11

Journal Article
To Improve the Accuracy of GDP Growth Forecasts, Add Financial Market Conditions

More timely data on current macroeconomic conditions can reduce uncertainty about forecasts, helping policymakers mitigate the risk of extreme economic outcomes. We find that incorporating financial market conditions along with current macroeconomic conditions improves the forecast accuracy of future GDP growth. Forecasts based only on current macroeconomic conditions eventually converge to those incorporating financial market conditions, lending further support to this approach.
Economic Bulletin , Issue June 2, 2021 , Pages 5

Journal Article
Assessing the Risk of Extreme Unemployment Outcomes

Although the unemployment rate is at a historically low level, many policymakers are nevertheless watching projections for the future unemployment rate closely to evaluate the risk of extreme outcomes. We assess the probabilities of extreme outcomes in the near and medium term and find that the risk of unexpectedly high unemployment three years in the future has declined from its Great Recession peak and remained low over the past three years.
Economic Bulletin , Issue Aug 28, 2019 , Pages 4

Journal Article
Revamping the Kansas City Financial Stress Index Using the Treasury Repo Rate

The Kansas City Financial Stress Index (KCFSI) uses the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to measure money market borrowing conditions. But regulatory changes in the United Kingdom will eliminate LIBOR by 2021. We construct a revised financial stress index with a variable that measures the cost of borrowing collateralized by Treasury securities (the Treasury repo rate) instead of LIBOR. {{p}} This revised measure of the KCFSI is highly correlated with the current KCFSI, suggesting the Treasury repo rate can replace LIBOR.
Macro Bulletin , Issue October 24, 2018 , Pages 1-2

Journal Article
How Much Would China’s GDP Respond to a Slowdown in Housing Activity?

We analyze China's interindustry connections and show that China?s housing activity has become increasingly important to its GDP growth. Our results suggest that a 10 percent decline in final demand for real estate and housing-related construction would lead to a decline in total output of 2.2 percent, an effect more than two times larger than it would have been 10 years ago.
Macro Bulletin , Issue September 12, 2018 , Pages 1-5

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