Thursday, December 11, 2008

Recession decision

On November 28th, 2008 the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER, see list of members below) declared that the expansion that began in November 2001 ended in December 2007, which is when the current recession began... This committee web site explains how the recession is "called" and has a short FAQ.

On average the NBER BCDC calls the start of a recession between six to eighteen months after the recession actually began. It seems like a more timely process (i.e. more accurate and timely data) would be much more useful to the country...

Committee members: Robert Hall, Stanford University (chair); Martin Feldstein, Harvard University and NBER President Emeritus; Jeffrey Frankel, Harvard University; Robert Gordon, Northwestern University; James Poterba, MIT and NBER President; David Romer, University of California, Berkeley; and Victor Zarnowitz, the Conference Board.

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