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Forecasting U.S. Recessions with a Large Set of Predictors

Fornaro, Paolo (2015): Forecasting U.S. Recessions with a Large Set of Predictors.

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Abstract

In this paper, I use a large set of macroeconomic and financial predictors to forecast U.S. recession periods. I adopt Bayesian methodology with shrinkage in the parameters of the probit model for the binary time series tracking the state of the economy. The in-sample and out-of-sample results show that utilizing a large cross-section of indicators yields superior U.S. recession forecasts in comparison to a number of parsimonious benchmark models. Moreover, data rich models with shrinkage manage to beat the forecasts obtained with the factor-augmented probit model employed in past research

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