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Jel Classification:C22 

Report
Vulnerable growth

We study the conditional distribution of GDP growth as a function of economic and financial conditions. Deteriorating financial conditions are associated with an increase in the conditional volatility and a decline in the conditional mean of GDP growth, leading the lower quantiles of GDP growth to vary with financial conditions and the upper quantiles to be stable over time: Upside risks to GDP growth are low in most periods while downside risks increase as financial conditions become tighter. We argue that amplification mechanisms in the financial sector generate the observed growth ...
Staff Reports , Paper 794

Working Paper
Variable Selection and Forecasting in High Dimensional Linear Regressions with Structural Breaks

This paper is concerned with the problem of variable selection and forecasting in the presence of parameter instability. There are a number of approaches proposed for forecasting in the presence of breaks, including the use of rolling windows and exponential down-weighting. However, these studies start with a given model specification and do not consider the problem of variable selection, which is complicated by time variations in the effects of signal variables. In this study we investigate whether or not we should use weighted observations at the variable selection stage in the presence of ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 394

Working Paper
Variable Selection and Forecasting in High Dimensional Linear Regressions with Structural Breaks

This paper is concerned with the problem of variable selection and forecasting in the presence of parameter instability. There are a number of approaches proposed for forecasting in the presence of breaks, including the use of rolling windows or exponential down-weighting. However, these studies start with a given model specification and do not consider the problem of variable selection. It is clear that, in the absence of breaks, researchers should weigh the observations equally at both the variable selection and forecasting stages. In this study, we investigate whether or not we should use ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 394

Working Paper
Weather-adjusting employment data

First version: December 18, 2014. This version: January 12, 2015. This paper proposes and implements a statistical methodology for adjusting employment data for the effects of deviation in weather from seasonal norms. This is distinct from seasonal adjustment, which only controls for the normal variation in weather across the year. Unusual weather can distort both the data and the seasonal factors. We control for both of these effects by integrating a weather adjustment step in the seasonal adjustment process. We use several indicators of weather, including temperature, snowfall and ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-5

Report
Forecasting Macroeconomic Risks

We construct risks around consensus forecasts of real GDP growth, unemployment, and inflation. We find that risks are time-varying, asymmetric, and partly predictable. Tight financial conditions forecast downside growth risk, upside unemployment risk, and increased uncertainty around the inflation forecast. Growth vulnerability arises as the conditional mean and conditional variance of GDP growth are negatively correlated: downside risks are driven by lower mean and higher variance when financial conditions tighten. Similarly, employment vulnerability arises as the conditional mean and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 914

Working Paper
Binary Conditional Forecasts

While conditional forecasting has become prevalent both in the academic literature and in practice (e.g., bank stress testing, scenario forecasting), its applications typically focus on continuous variables. In this paper, we merge elements from the literature on the construction and implementation of conditional forecasts with the literature on forecasting binary variables. We use the Qual-VAR [Dueker (2005)], whose joint VAR-probit structure allows us to form conditional forecasts of the latent variable which can then be used to form probabilistic forecasts of the binary variable. We apply ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-29

Working Paper
Evaluating the Conditionality of Judgmental Forecasts

We propose a framework to evaluate the conditionality of forecasts. The crux of our framework is the observation that a forecast is conditional if revisions to the conditioning factor are faithfully incorporated into the remainder of the forecast. We consider whether the Greenbook, Blue Chip, and the Survey of Professional Forecasters exhibit systematic biases in the manner in which they incorporate interest rate projections into the forecasts of other macroeconomic variables. We do not find strong evidence of systematic biases in the three economic forecasts that we consider, as the interest ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-002

Working Paper
Binary Conditional Forecasts

While conditional forecasting has become prevalent both in the academic literature and in practice (e.g., bank stress testing, scenario forecasting), its applications typically focus on continuous variables. In this paper, we merge elements from the literature on the construction and implementation of conditional forecasts with the literature on forecasting binary variables. We use the Qual-VAR [Dueker (2005)], whose joint VAR-probit structure allows us to form conditional forecasts of the latent variable which can then be used to form probabilistic forecasts of the binary variable. We apply ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-029

Working Paper
Variation in the Phillips Curve Relation across Three Phases of the Business Cycle

We use recently developed econometric tools to demonstrate that the Phillips curve unemployment rate?inflation rate relationship varies in an economically meaningful way across three phases of the business cycle. The first (?bust phase?) relationship is the one highlighted by Stock and Watson (2010): A sharp reduction in inflation occurs as the unemployment rate is rising rapidly. The second (?recovery phase?) relationship occurs as the unemployment rate subsequently begins to fall; during this phase, inflation is unrelated to any conventional unemployment gap. The final (?overheating phase?) ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-09

Working Paper
Episodes of Exuberance in Housing Markets: In Search of the Smoking Gun

In this paper, we examine changes in the time series properties of standard housing market indicators (real house prices, price-to-income ratios, and price-to-rent ratios) for a large set of countries to detect episodes of explosive dynamics. Dating exuberance in housing markets provides a timeline as well as empirical content to the narrative connecting housing exuberance to the global 2008?09 recession. For our investigation, we employ two recursive univariate unit root tests developed by Phillips et al. (2011) and Phillips et al. (2015). We also propose a novel extension of the Phillips et ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 165

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