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Jel Classification:C22 

Revisiting useful approaches to data-rich macroeconomic forecasting

This paper analyzes the properties of a number of data-rich methods that are widely used in macroeconomic forecasting, in particular principal components (PC) and Bayesian regressions, as well as a lesser-known alternative, partial least squares (PLS) regression. In the latter method, linear, orthogonal combinations of a large number of predictor variables are constructed such that the covariance between a target variable and these common components is maximized. Existing studies have focused on modelling the target variable as a function of a finite set of unobserved common factors that ...
Staff Reports , Paper 327

Working Paper
All Fluctuations Are Not Created Equal: The Differential Roles of Transitory versus Persistent Changes in Driving Historical Monetary Policy

The historical analysis of FOMC behavior using estimated simple policy rules requires the specification of either an estimated natural rate of unemployment or an output gap. But in the 1970s, neither output gap nor natural rate estimates appear to guide FOMC deliberations. This paper uses the data to identify the particular implicit unemployment rate gap (if any) that is consistent with FOMC behavior. While its ability appears to have improved over time, our results indicate that, both before the Volcker period and through the Bernanke period, the FOMC distinguished persistent movements in ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1814

Working Paper
Closed-Form Estimation of Finite-Order ARCH Models: Asymptotic Theory and Finite-Sample Performance

Strong consistency and weak distributional convergence to highly non-Gaussian limits are established for closed-form, two stage least squares (TSLS) estimators for a class of ARCH(p) models. Conditions for these results include (relatively) mild moment existence criteria that are supported empirically by many (high frequency) financial returns. These conditions are not shared by competing closed-form estimators like OLS. Identification of these TSLS estimators depends on asymmetry, either in the model's rescaled errors or in the conditional variance function. Monte Carlo studies reveal TSLS ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-083

Flighty liquidity

We study how the risks to future liquidity flow across corporate bond, Treasury, and stock markets. We document distribution ?flight-to-safety? effects: a deterioration in the liquidity of high-yield corporate bonds forecasts an increase in the average liquidity of Treasury securities and a decrease in uncertainty about the liquidity of investment-grade corporate bonds. While the liquidity of Treasury securities both affects and is affected by the liquidity in the other two markets, corporate bond and equity market liquidity appear to be largely divorced from each other. Finally, we show that ...
Staff Reports , Paper 870

Journal Article
Alternative Indicators for Chinese Economic Activity Using Sparse PLS Regression

Official Chinese GDP growth rates have been remarkably smooth over the past decade, in contrast with alternative Chinese economic data. To better identify Chinese business cycles, we construct a sparse partial least squares (PLS) factor from a wide array of Chinese higher-frequency data, targeted toward variables that are highly correlated with important aspects of the Chinese economy. Our resulting alternative growth indicator clearly identifies Chinese business cycle fluctuations and it performs well both in out-of-sample testing for China as well as when applied to other economies. Using ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 26 , Issue 4 , Pages 39-68

Bank Capital and Real GDP Growth

We study the relationship between bank capital ratios and the distribution of future real GDP growth. Growth in the aggregate bank capital ratio corresponds to a smaller left tail of GDP—smaller crisis probability—but at the cost of a smaller right tail of growth outcomes—smaller probability of exuberant growth. This trade-off persists at horizons of up to eight quarters, highlighting the long-range consequences of changes in bank capital. We show that the predictive information in bank capital ratio growth is over and above that contained in real credit growth, suggesting importance ...
Staff Reports , Paper 950

Working Paper
Explosive Dynamics in House Prices? An Exploration of Financial Market Spillovers in Housing Markets Around the World

Asset prices in general, and real house prices in particular, are often characterized by a nonlinear data-generating process which displays mildly explosive behavior in some periods. Here, we investigate the emergence of explosiveness in the dynamics of real house prices and the role played by asset market spillovers. We establish a timeline of periodically-collapsing episodes of explosiveness for a panel of 23 countries from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas? International House Price Database (Mack and Martnez-Garca (2011)) between first quarter 1975 and fourth quarter 2015 using the ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 342

Working Paper
Finding a Stable Phillips Curve Relationship: A Persistence-Dependent Regression Mode

We establish that the Phillips curve is persistence-dependent: inflation responds differently to persistent versus moderately persistent (or versus transient) fluctuations in the unemployment gap. Previous work fails to model this dependence, so it finds numerous “inflation puzzles”—such as missing inflation/disinflation—noted in the literature. Our model specification eliminates these puzzles; for example, the Phillips curve has not weakened, and inflation is not “stubbornly low” at present. The model’s coefficients are stable, and it provides accurate conditional recursive ...
Working Papers , Paper 201909R

Excess volatility of exchange rates with unobservable fundamentals

We present tests of excess volatility of exchange rates that impose minimal structure on the data and do not commit to a choice of exchange rate "fundamentals." Our method builds on existing volatility tests of asset prices, combining them with a procedure that extracts unobservable fundamentals from survey-based exchange rate expectations. We apply our method to data for the three major exchange rates since 1984 and find broad evidence of excess volatility with respect to the predictions of the canonical asset-pricing model of the exchange rate with rational expectations.
Staff Reports , Paper 103

Working Paper
The Role of the Prior in Estimating VAR Models with Sign Restrictions

Several recent studies have expressed concern that the Haar prior typically imposed in estimating sign-identified VAR models may be unintentionally informative about the implied prior for the structural impulse responses. This question is indeed important, but we show that the tools that have been used in the literature to illustrate this potential problem are invalid. Specifically, we show that it does not make sense from a Bayesian point of view to characterize the impulse response prior based on the distribution of the impulse responses conditional on the maximum likelihood estimator of ...
Working Papers , Paper 2030


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