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American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics: Vol. 3 No. 2 (April 2011)

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Evaluating the Classification of Economic Activity into Recessions and Expansions

Article Citation

Berge, Travis J., and Áureo Jordà. 2011. "Evaluating the Classification of Economic Activity into Recessions and Expansions." American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 3(2): 246-77.

DOI: 10.1257/mac.3.2.246

Abstract

The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research provides a historical chronology of business cycle turning points. We investigate three central aspects of this chronology. How skillful is the Dating Committee when classifying economic activity into expansions and recessions? Which indices of economic conditions best capture the current but unobservable state of the business cycle? And which indicators best predict future turning points, and at what horizons? We answer each of these questions in detail using methods specifically designed to assess classification ability. In the process, we clarify several important features of the business cycle. (JEL C82, E32)

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Authors

Berge, Travis J. (U CA, Davis)
Jordà, Áureo (U CA, Davis)

JEL Classifications

C82: Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
E32: Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics


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