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Author:Stark, Tom 

Journal Article
Revisions to nonfarm payroll employment: 1964 to 2011

Over recent months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has revised upward its initial estimates of the monthly change in nonfarm payroll employment. Similar positive revisions occurred to the initial estimates for September 2010 through February 2011. Moreover, upward revisions to initial estimates also occurred in the immediate months following the most recent NBER business-cycle trough of June 2009. This pattern of positive revisions suggests that the BLS might be having trouble pinning down initial estimates of job gains in the early stages of an expansion. It also cautions us against ...
Research Rap Special Report , Issue Dec

Working Paper
A Bayesian vector error corrections model of the U.S. economy

This paper presents a small-scale macroeconometric time-series model that can be used to generate short-term forecasts for U.S. output, inflation, and the rate of unemployment. Drawing on both the Bayesian VAR and vector error corrections (VEC) literature, the author specifies the baseline model as a Bayesian VEC. The author documents the model's forecasting ability over various periods, examines its impulse responses, and considers several reasonable alternative specifications. Based on a root-mean-square-error criterion, the baseline model works best, and the author concludes that this ...
Working Papers , Paper 98-12

Journal Article
Real GDP in annual revisions to the U.S. National accounts: 1966-2011

On July 29, 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released a flexible annual revision to the U.S. national income and product accounts. Real GDP growth was subject to large downward revisions. I use the Philadelphia Fed's real-time data set to compare the size of the recent revision with that of past annual revisions since 1966.
Research Rap Special Report , Issue Aug

Working Paper
Understanding house price index revisions

Residential house price indexes (HPI) are used for a large variety of macroeconomic and microeconomic research and policy purposes, as well as for automated valuation models. As is well known, these indexes are subject to substantial revisions in the months following the initial release, both because transaction data can be slow to come in, and as a consequence of the repeat sales methodology, which interpolates the effect of sales over the entire period since the house last changed hands. We study the properties of the revisions to the CoreLogic House Price Index. This index is used both by ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-38

Working Paper
Forecasting coin demand.

Shortages of coins in 1999 and 2000 motivated the authors to develop models for forecasting coin demand. A variety of models were developed, tested, and used in realtime forecasting. This paper describes the models that were developed and examines the forecast errors from the models both in quasi-ex-ante forecasting exercises and in realtime use. Tests for forecast efficiency are run on each model. Real-time forecasts are examined. The authors conclude with suggestions for further refinements of the models.
Working Papers , Paper 02-15

Journal Article
Evaluating McCallum's rule for monetary policy

Business Review , Issue Jan , Pages 3-14

Working Paper
Benchmark revisions and the U.S. personal saving rate.

Initially published estimates of the personal saving rate from 1965 Q3 to 1999 Q2, which averaged 5.3 percent, have been revised up 2.8 percentage points to 8.1 percent, as we document. We show that much of the initial variation in the personal saving rate across time was meaningless noise. Nominal disposable personal income has been revised upward an average of 8.4 percent: one dollar in 12 was originally missing! We use both conventional and real-time estimates of the personal saving rate to forecast real disposable income, gross domestic product, and personal consumption and show that the ...
Working Papers , Paper 05-6

Working Paper
Evaluating McCallum's rule when monetary policy matters

This paper provides new evidence on the usefulness of McCallum's proposed rule for monetary policy. The rule targets nominal GDP using the monetary base as the instrument. We analyze the rule using three very different economic models to see if the rule works well in different environments. Our results suggest that while the rule leads to lower inflation than there has been over the last 30 years, instability problems suggest that the rule should be modified to feed back on the growth rate of nominal GDP rather than the level.
Working Papers , Paper 96-3

Journal Article
Real-time performance of GDPplus and alternative model-based measures of GDP: 2005—2014

Like most macroeconomic variables, real gross domestic product is subject to measurement error. Because the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis lacks complete information at the time it publishes its initial GDP estimates, revisions are often substantial. Analysts concerned about the accuracy of these early estimates for expenditure GDP could focus instead on gross domestic income, the BEA?s measure of U.S. output on the income side of the national accounts. Conceptually, GDP on the expenditure side should equal GDP on the income side, and there should be no choice to make between the two ...
Research Rap Special Report , Issue Nov

Working Paper
A real-time data set for macroeconomists: does data vintage matter for forecasting?

This paper describes a real-time data set for macroeconomists that can be used for a variety of purposes, including forecast evaluation. The data set consists of quarterly vintages, or snapshots, of the major macroeconomic data available at quarterly intervals in real time. The paper explains the construction of the data set, examines the properties of several of the variables in the data set across vintages, and provides an example showing how data revisions can affect forecasts.
Working Papers , Paper 00-6


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