How to Assess Country Risk: The Vulnerability Exercise Approach Using Machine Learning
The IMF’s Vulnerability Exercise (VE) is a cross-country exercise that identifies country-specific near-term macroeconomic risks. As a key element of the Fund’s broader risk architecture, the VE is a bottom-up, multi-sectoral approach to risk assessments for all IMF member countries. The VE modeling toolkit is regularly updated in response to global economic developments and the latest modeling innovations. The new generation of VE models presented here leverages machine-learning algorithms. The models can better capture interactions between different parts of the economy and non-linear relationships that are not well measured in ”normal times.” The performance of machine-learning-based models is evaluated against more conventional models in a horse-race format. The paper also presents direct, transparent methods for communicating model results.
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