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The BEA Underestimates Recessions

By Matthew Yglesias on July 30, 2011 at 8:31 am

"The BEA Underestimates Recessions"

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Here’s an interesting point from Mark Doms, chief economist at the Commerce Department. The Commerce Department’s economists seem to consistently underrate the severity of recessions:

I wonder why that is? But there seems to be a lesson here for macroeconomic stabilization policy, namely that when your data is indicative of a recession the risks ought to be seen as weighted to the downside. You need to err on the side of “going big” with your interest rate cuts and whatever else.

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