Abstract: This work estimates Markov switching models on real time data and shows that the growth rate of gross domestic income (GDI), deflated by the GDP deflator, has done a better job recognizing the start of recessions than has the growth rate of real GDP. This result suggests that placing an increased focus on GDI may be useful in assessing the current state of the economy. In addition, the paper shows that the definition of a lowgrowth phase in the Markov switching models has changed over the past couple of decades. The models increasingly define this phase as an extended period of around zero
rather than negative growth, diverging somewhat from the traditional definition of a recession.
Keywords: Recessions, Markov Switching Models
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Last update: May 10, 2007
