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Periods and structural breaks in US economic history 1959-2007

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  • McNown, Robert
  • Seip, Knut Lehre

Abstract

Principal component analysis (PCA) is applied to six macroeconomic time series observed over 1959-2007. Six periods in US economic history are identified by a cluster analysis of observations in the PCA score plot. The method is data driven with no a priori information on the number or dates of breaks. Our findings give independent support to the effect of the oil price shock in 1973, and the introduction of the Great Moderation period. Of the five transition periods, two have been identified by previous studies as breaks (1973, 1984), one is a well-known date of monetary policy change (1979), and two had not previously been identified (1970, 1977-1978). In the long-run inflation and the federal funds rate are unrelated to industrial production and unemployment. Inflation and interest are positively associated as predicted by the Fisher hypothesis. These long-run relations argue against the use of monetary policy to peg the rate of unemployment or real interest rates. In the short-run inflation acts a leading indicator for unemployment for the period 1959-1997, but not for the period after 1997. The well-established reduction in macroeconomic volatility in the mid-1980s is specific to the period from 1985 to 1997; volatility subsequently rises above pre-1979 levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Policy Modeling.

Volume (Year): 33 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 169-182

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:33:y:2011:i:2:p:169-182

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505735

Related research

Keywords: Business cycles Economic history Inflation Unemployment Phillips curve Composite leading indicator Composite lagging indicator Interest rate spread Federal funds Money supply Principal component analysis;

References

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  1. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
  2. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Margaret McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Banerjee, Anindya & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Masten, Igor, 2008. "Forecasting Macroeconomic Variables Using Diffusion Indexes in Short Samples with Structural Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 6706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Rapach, David E. & Weber, Christian E., 2004. "Are real interest rates really nonstationary? New evidence from tests with good size and power," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 409-430, September.
  8. Ibrahim Chowdhury & Andreas Schabert, 2007. "Federal Reserve Policy viewed through a Money Supply Lens," Working Papers 2007-02, Swiss National Bank.
  9. Andrew J. Filardo, 1999. "How reliable are recession prediction models?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 35-55.
  10. Seip, Knut Lehre & McNown, Robert, 2007. "The timing and accuracy of leading and lagging business cycle indicators: A new approach," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 277-287.
  11. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
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