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Jel Classification:E27 

Working Paper
What's the Story? A New Perspective on the Value of Economic Forecasts

We apply textual analysis tools to measure the degree of optimism versus pessimism of the text that describes Federal Reserve Board forecasts published in the Greenbook. The resulting measure of Greenbook text sentiment, ?Tonality,? is found to be strongly correlated, in the intuitive direction, with the Greenbook point forecast for key economic variables such as unemployment and inflation. We then examine whether Tonality has incremental power for predicting unemployment, GDP growth, and inflation up to four quarters ahead. We find it to have significant and substantive predictive power for ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-107

Working Paper
Assessing Macroeconomic Tail Risks in a Data-Rich Environment

We use a large set of economic and financial indicators to assess tail risks of the three macroeconomic variables: real GDP, unemployment, and inflation. When applied to U.S. data, we find evidence that a dense model using principal components (PC) as predictors might be misspecified by imposing the “common slope” assumption on the set of predictors across multiple quantiles. The common slope assumption ignores the heterogeneous informativeness of individual predictors on different quantiles. However, the parsimony of the PC-based approach improves the accuracy of out-of-sample forecasts ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 19-12

Briefing
The Michigan Surveys of Consumers and consumer spending

We provide summary measures for a broad set of questions from the Michigan Surveys of Consumers. These measures summarize consumers' attitudes and expectations with respect to income, wealth, prices, and interest rates. They contain information that goes beyond the information captured by the Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, which is constructed from five questions in the same survey. We show that the summary measures have some explanatory power for aggregate consumption behavior over the period from 1987 to the present, even when controlling for economic fundamentals. The explanatory ...
Public Policy Brief

Working Paper
Mind the gap! Stylized Dynamic Facts and Structural Models.

We study what happens to identified shocks and to dynamic responses when the data generating process features q disturbances but q1
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-29

Working Paper
A Composite Likelihood Approach for Dynamic Structural Models

We describe how to use the composite likelihood to ameliorate estimation, computational, and inferential problems in dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models. We present a number of situations where the methodology has the potential to resolve well-known problems. In each case we consider, we provide an example to illustrate how the approach works and its properties in practice.
Working Paper , Paper 18-12

Working Paper
The Accuracy of Forecasts Prepared for the Federal Open Market Committee

We analyze forecasts of consumption, nonresidential investment, residential investment, government spending, exports, imports, inventories, gross domestic product, inflation, and unemployment prepared by the staff of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee from 1997 to 2008, called the Greenbooks. We compare the root mean squared error, mean absolute error, and the proportion of directional errors of Greenbook forecasts of these macroeconomic indicators to the errors from three forecasting benchmarks: a random walk, a first-order ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-62

Working Paper
Forecasting Consumption Spending Using Credit Bureau Data

This paper considers whether the inclusion of information contained in consumer credit reports might improve the predictive accuracy of forecasting models for consumption spending. To investigate the usefulness of aggregate consumer credit information in forecasting consumption spending, this paper sets up a baseline forecasting model. Based on this model, a simulated real-time, out-of-sample exercise is conducted to forecast one-quarter ahead consumption spending. The exercise is run again after the addition of credit bureau variables to the model. Finally, a comparison is made to test ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-22

Working Paper
Selecting Primal Innovations in DSGE models

DSGE models are typically estimated assuming the existence of certain primal shocks that drive macroeconomic fluctuations. We analyze the consequences of estimating shocks that are "non-existent" and propose a method to select the primal shocks driving macroeconomic uncertainty. Forcing these non-existing shocks in estimation produces a downward bias in the estimated internal persistence of the model. We show how these distortions can be reduced by using priors for standard deviations whose support includes zero. The method allows us to accurately select primal shocks and estimate model ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-20

Working Paper
COVID-19: A View from the Labor Market

This paper examines the response of the U.S. labor market to a large and persistent job separation rate shock, motivated by the ongoing economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We use nonlinear methods to analytically and numerically characterize the responses of vacancy creation and unemployment. Vacancies decline in response to the shock when firms expect persistent job destruction and the number of unemployed searching for work is low. Quantitatively, under our baseline forecast the unemployment rate peaks at 19.7%, 2 months after the shock, and takes 1 year to return to 5%. Relative to ...
Working Papers , Paper 2010

Working Paper
Supply-Side Effects of Pandemic Mortality: Insights from an Overlapping-Generations Model

We use an overlapping generation model to explore the implications of mortality during pandemics for the economy's productive capacity. Under current epidemiological projections for the progression of COVID-19, our model suggests that mortality will have, in itself, at most small effects on output and factor prices. The reason is that projected mortality is small in proportion to the population and skewed toward individuals who are retired from the labor force. That said, we show that if the spread of COVID-19 is not contained, or if the ongoing pandemic were to follow a mortality pattern ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-060

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