Inflation in the Great Recession and New Keynesian models
It has been argued that existing DSGE models cannot properly account for the evolution of key macroeconomic variables during and following the recent great recession. We challenge this argument by showing that a standard DSGE model with financial frictions available prior to the recent crisis successfully predicts a sharp contraction in economic activity along with a modest and protracted decline in inflation following the rise in financial stress in the fourth quarter of 2008. The model does so even though inflation remains very dependent on the evolution of economic activity and of monetary ...
What predicts U.S. recessions?
We reassess the predictability of U.S. recessions at horizons from three months to two years ahead for a large number of previously proposed leading-indicator variables. We employ an efficient probit estimator for partially missing data and assess relative model performance based on the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. While the Treasury term spread has the highest predictive power at horizons four to six quarters ahead, adding lagged observations of the term spread significantly improves the predictability of recessions at shorter horizons. Moreover, balances in broker-dealer ...
U.S. wage and price dynamics: a limited information approach
This paper analyzes the dynamics of prices and wages using a limited information approach to estimation. I estimate a two-equation model for the determination of prices and wages derived from an optimization-based dynamic model in which both goods and labor markets are monopolistically competitive; prices and wages can be reoptimized only at random intervals; and, when prices and wages are not reoptimized, they can be partially adjusted to previous-period aggregate inflation. The estimation procedure is a two-step minimum distance estimation that exploits the restrictions imposed by the model ...
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 ...
Tests of Equal Accuracy for Nested Models with Estimated Factors
In this paper we develop asymptotics for tests of equal predictive ability between nested models when factor-augmented regression models are used to forecast. We provide conditions under which the estimation of the factors does not affect the asymptotic distributions developed in Clark and McCracken (2001) and McCracken (2007). This enables researchers to use the existing tabulated critical values when conducting inference. As an intermediate result, we derive the asymptotic properties of the principal components estimator over recursive windows. We provide simulation evidence on the finite ...
An Empirical Investigation of Direct and Iterated Multistep Conditional Forecasts
When constructing unconditional point forecasts, both direct- and iterated-multistep (DMS and IMS) approaches are common. However, in the context of producing conditional forecasts, IMS approaches based on vector autoregressions (VAR) are far more common than simpler DMS models. This is despite the fact that there are theoretical reasons to believe that DMS models are more robust to misspecification than are IMS models. In the context of unconditional forecasts, Marcellino, Stock, and Watson (MSW, 2006) investigate the empirical relevance of these theories. In this paper, we extend that work ...
Real-Time Forecasting with a Large, Mixed Frequency, Bayesian VAR
We assess point and density forecasts from a mixed-frequency vector autoregression (VAR) to obtain intra-quarter forecasts of output growth as new information becomes available. The econometric model is specified at the lowest sampling frequency; high frequency observations are treated as different economic series occurring at the low frequency. We impose restrictions on the VAR to account explicitly for the temporal ordering of the data releases. Because this type of data stacking results in a high-dimensional system, we rely on Bayesian shrinkage to mitigate parameter proliferation. The ...
Evaluating Conditional Forecasts from Vector Autoregressions
Many forecasts are conditional in nature. For example, a number of central banks routinely report forecasts conditional on particular paths of policy instruments. Even though conditional forecasting is common, there has been little work on methods for evaluating conditional forecasts. This paper provides analytical, Monte Carlo, and empirical evidence on tests of predictive ability for conditional forecasts from estimated models. In the empirical analysis, we consider forecasts of growth, unemployment, and inflation from a VAR, based on conditions on the short-term interest rate. Throughout ...
Tests of Conditional Predictive Ability: Some Simulation Evidence
In this note we provide simulation evidence on the size and power of tests of predictive ability described in Giacomini and White (2006). Our goals are modest but non-trivial. First, we establish that there exist data generating processes that satisfy the null hypotheses of equal finite-sample (un)conditional predictive ability. We then consider various parameterizations of these DGPs as a means of evaluating the size and power properties of the proposed tests. While some of our results reinforce those in Giacomini and White (2006), others do not. We recommend against using the fixed scheme ...
Diverging Tests of Equal Predictive Ability
We investigate claims made in Giacomini and White (2006) and Diebold (2015) regarding the asymptotic normality of a test of equal predictive ability. A counterexample is provided in which, instead, the test statistic diverges with probability one under the null.