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Jel Classification:C55 

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Dynamic effects of credit shocks in a data-rich environment

We examine the dynamic effects of credit shocks using a large data set of U.S. economic and financial indicators in a structural factor model. An identified credit shock resulting in an unanticipated increase in credit spreads causes a large and persistent downturn in indicators of real economic activity, labor market conditions, expectations of future economic conditions, a gradual decline in aggregate price indices, and a decrease in short- and longer-term riskless interest rates. Our identification procedure, which imposes restrictions on the response of a small number of economic ...
Staff Reports , Paper 615

Report
Macroeconomic nowcasting and forecasting with big data

Data, data, data . . . Economists know it well, especially when it comes to monitoring macroeconomic conditions?the basis for making informed economic and policy decisions. Handling large and complex data sets was a challenge that macroeconomists engaged in real-time analysis faced long before ?big data? became pervasive in other disciplines. We review how methods for tracking economic conditions using big data have evolved over time and explain how econometric techniques have advanced to mimic and automate the best practices of forecasters on trading desks, at central banks, and in other ...
Staff Reports , Paper 830

Working Paper
Improving the Accuracy of Economic Measurement with Multiple Data Sources: The Case of Payroll Employment Data

This paper combines information from two sources of U.S. private payroll employment to increase the accuracy of real-time measurement of the labor market. The sources are the Current Employment Statistics (CES) from BLS and microdata from the payroll processing firm ADP. We briefly describe the ADP-derived data series, compare it to the BLS data, and describe an exercise that benchmarks the data series to an employment census. The CES and the ADP employment data are each derived from roughly equal-sized samples. We argue that combining CES and ADP data series reduces the measurement error ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-065

Working Paper
Forecasting with Sufficient Dimension Reductions

Factor models have been successfully employed in summarizing large datasets with few underlying latent factors and in building time series forecasting models for economic variables. When the objective is to forecast a target variable y with a large set of predictors x, the construction of the summary of the xs should be driven by how informative on y it is. Most existing methods first reduce the predictors and then forecast y in independent phases of the modeling process. In this paper we present an alternative and potentially more attractive alternative: summarizing x as it relates to y, so ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-74

Working Paper
Common Factors, Trends, and Cycles in Large Datasets

This paper considers a non-stationary dynamic factor model for large datasets to disentangle long-run from short-run co-movements. We first propose a new Quasi Maximum Likelihood estimator of the model based on the Kalman Smoother and the Expectation Maximisation algorithm. The asymptotic properties of the estimator are discussed. Then, we show how to separate trends and cycles in the factors by mean of eigenanalysis of the estimated non-stationary factors. Finally, we employ our methodology on a panel of US quarterly macroeconomic indicators to estimate aggregate real output, or Gross ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-111

Working Paper
The U.S. Syndicated Loan Market : Matching Data

We introduce a new software package for determining linkages between datasets without common identifiers. We apply these methods to three datasets commonly used in academic research on syndicated lending: Refinitiv LPC DealScan, the Shared National Credit Database, and S&P Global Market Intelligence Compustat. We benchmark the results of our match using results from the literature and previously matched files that are publicly available. We find that the company level matching is enhanced by careful cleaning of the data and considering hierarchical relationships. For loan level matching, a ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-085

Working Paper
A Unified Framework for Dimension Reduction in Forecasting

Factor models are widely used in summarizing large datasets with few underlying latent factors and in building time series forecasting models for economic variables. In these models, the reduction of the predictors and the modeling and forecasting of the response y are carried out in two separate and independent phases. We introduce a potentially more attractive alternative, Sufficient Dimension Reduction (SDR), that summarizes x as it relates to y, so that all the information in the conditional distribution of y|x is preserved. We study the relationship between SDR and popular estimation ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-004

Working Paper
Technological innovation in mortgage underwriting and the growth in credit, 1985–2015

The application of information technology to finance, or ?fintech,? is expected to revolutionize many aspects of borrowing and lending in the future, but technology has been reshaping consumer and mortgage lending for many years. During the 1990s, computerization allowed mortgage lenders to reduce loan-processing times and largely replace human-based assessments of credit risk with default predictions generated by sophisticated empirical models. Debt-to-income ratios at origination add little to the predictive power of these models, so the new automated underwriting systems allowed higher ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-11

Working Paper
Financial variables and macroeconomic forecast errors

A large set of financial variables has only limited power to predict a latent factor common to the year-ahead forecast errors for real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, the unemployment rate, and Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation for three sets of professional forecasters: the Federal Reserve?s Greenbook, the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF), and the Blue Chip Consensus Forecasts. Even when a financial variable appears to be fairly robust across sample periods in explaining the latent factor, from an economic standpoint its contribution appears modest. Still, several financial ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-17

Working Paper
How Magic a Bullet Is Machine Learning for Credit Analysis? An Exploration with FinTech Lending Data

FinTech online lending to consumers has grown rapidly in the post-crisis era. As argued by its advocates, one key advantage of FinTech lending is that lenders can predict loan outcomes more accurately by employing complex analytical tools, such as machine learning (ML) methods. This study applies ML methods, in particular random forests and stochastic gradient boosting, to loan-level data from the largest FinTech lender of personal loans to assess the extent to which those methods can produce more accurate out-of-sample predictions of default on future loans relative to standard regression ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-16

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