Some Empirical Definitions of Recession, around the World: An Incomplete List

For those who don’t want to use a simple two-consecutive-quarter rule (which would declare the 2001 recession a non-recession).

For the US:

Individual countries/economies:

Cross Country:

Other individual studies discussed on Econbrowser:

For a discussion of whether 2022H1 would constitute a recession, see this post.



16 thoughts on “Some Empirical Definitions of Recession, around the World: An Incomplete List

  1. Moses Herzog

    We’ve discussed whether curve inversion implies the same things about recession/GDP in other nations. Perhaps a much less interesting question (as I think modern orthodox economists would guess the same answer) is how much does money supply connect to recessions/GDP in other nations?? In other words, are there contemporary versions of Milton Friedman in France etc (just a random chosen nation there) who are still arguing (say, post-2000) that money supply greatly effects possibility of recessions and level of GDP??

  2. ltr

    December 12, 2022

    Cumulative Number of Child COVID-19 Cases

    As of December 8th, almost 15.1 million children are reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic according to available state reports. About 127,000 of these cases have been added in the past 4 weeks. This week 41,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported, an increase of about 50% over the previous 8 weeks, when weekly reported cases plateaued at an average of 27,000 cases.

    15,077,711 total child COVID-19 cases reported, and children represented 18.2% (15,077,711 / 82,771,423) of all cases

    Overall rate: 20,032 cases per 100,000 children in the population

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    Children’s Hospital Association

  3. J. Harold McClure

    I moved to Brooklyn from the Uppity East Side and damn I’m glad I did:

    While Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) promised that if she were in charge of Jan. 6, people would have been more armed and dangerous, other speakers at the Young Republicans gala in New York City talked about the next civil war. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremism throughout the United States, cited the speech from the Young republican president Gavin Wax, who told the Upper East side gala, “We want to cross the Rubicon. We want total war. We must be prepared to do battle in every arena. In the media. In the courtroom. At the ballot box. And in the streets.” “This is the only language the left understands. The language of pure and unadulterated power,” Wax also said. Hatewatch reporters were on hand to observe as white nationalists Peter and Lyndia Brimelow of VDARE met with Steve Bannon and Donald Trump Jr., where they took selfies.

    Yea I got the Uppity East Side has a few racists but DAMN!

    1. Moses Herzog

      I mentioned Peter Brimelow here before as one of the barbarians with nice haircuts, and how he was invited to Kudlow’s birthday party:

      Brimelow and Pat Buchanan have been seen together before. There’s an extremely low chance Kudlow didn’t know Brimelow was a white supremacist before Brimelow was invited, despite Kudlow’s transparent lie. Native English speaker Menzie Chinn (or better yet, Menzie’s Dad if he could see this) would get a chuckle out of the very large banner at a conference calling for America to be an “English only” nation. Pay special attention to spelling in the embedded photo after the link jump:

      I wager Menzie’s Dad knew how to spell conference (not that it matters actually). Brimelow used to write editorials in Forbes during the time I had a subscription to the magazine as a young man (late ’80s??), before Bloomberg took over the thrown of financial journalism.

      1. pgl

        “Peter Brimelow, who publishes the anti-immigrant website, has been attending Kudlow’s birthday parties for years,”

        I’m forgetting the person’s name but in my youth I had to discuss some idiotic paper by a supply-sider who thought aggregate demand and aggregate supply were the same thing as if the Reagan tax cuts for the rich led to an economic boom. The conference on Reaganomics was after all about how the economy had just tanked. I decided to look up this clown’s resume and discovered he was a member of Vdare. Being a naive young pub I started reading up on Vdare only to discover what racist viles they were.

        So maybe Kudlow the Klown thought Brimelow was a fellow supply-sider. Kudlow after all is not that bright.

      2. pgl

        I checked out the comments only to discover this:

        Black Irish immigrant leprechaun Patrick “Sinead” Buchanan knows what kinds of immigrants he hates: all the ones who showed up after his ring-kissing potato-drunkard parents were dumped by the British in New York Harbor as a final retaliation for the American Revolution. That’s why Buchanan and his wacky white-supremacist friends are, these days, mostly concerned with keeping the Puerto Ricans out of our nation’s courtrooms — them don’t speak good English! Also, these lamers failed to notice their own “The American Cause” conference banner does not spell “conference” correctly, but at least it’s not a dirty, dirty Mexican.

      1. Moses Herzog

        Probably the part of Brooklyn Albert Levin talked about in his humor column (from Susan Sachs in NYT circa 1999):
        “….. he [Levin] even talks of writing to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to ask for political asylum in Manhattan. Not only do his Russian Jewish neighbors refuse to speak English, they kvetch all the time. One fellow has written to City Hall. ”Mr. Mayor, why can’t you give the Statue of Liberty a second torch — something big for a change,’ the man complains. ‘I don’t see so good anymore.’ ”

  4. Erik Poole

    Three questions:

    1. Is there a concise list of national statistical agencies that still use the traditional two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth to define recessions?

    2. The ECRI states that they are not economists and do not use historical data to estimate business cycle turning points. Can anybody explain what this organization actually does?

    3. As James Hamilton points out, the NBER dating methods means that recession start and end dates can be announced a long time after the fact. Has somebody run a cost-benefit analysis of the NBER business cycle dating method?

    1. Moses Herzog

      Can you define what Steven Kopits does?? If you can, then ECRI does the same thing, with only very very very slightly more usefulness than Kopits.

      This reminds me of an old Yogi Berra quote: “Sometimes complete worthlessness is very esoteric”.

      1. Barkley Rosser


        Having just poked at you pretty hard elsewhere after you fell flat on your face in an effort to try to rescore some old points while failing to get it what the issue was and opening yourself up to having your own goofs pointed out, I must congratulate you on this particular remark, which is in fact genuinely witty. Really. You are not an obsessive dumkopf all the time.

  5. pgl

    “Is there a concise list of national statistical agencies that still use the traditional two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth to define recessions?”

    A very concise list – ZERO. Now Princeton Steve might think his consulting practice counts but it does not come close.

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