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The cyclical sensitivity of seasonality in U.S. employment

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  • Krane, Spencer
  • Wascher, William

Abstract

There is a growing recognition in the literature on business cycles that production technologies may give rise to complicated interactions between seasonal and cyclical movements in economic time series, which can distort business cycle inference based on seasonally adjusted data. For the most part, however, the empirical research in this area has relied on standard univariate seasonal adjustment techniques that provide only a partial description of such interactions. In this paper, we develop an unobserved components model that explicitly accounts for the effects of business cycles on industry-level seasonality and for the potential feedback from seasonality to the aggregate business cycle. In particular, the model extracts an aggregate "common cycle" from industry-level data, allows formal statistical testing of seasonal differences in the comovement of an industry with the common cycle, and identifies economy-wide and industry-specific contributions to the seasonal and non-seasonal variation in the data. Applying the model to quarterly US payroll employment data, we frequently find evidence of statistically significant differences across seasons in the comovement between sectoral employment and the common cycle. On the other hand, we also find that seasonal fluctuations in employment at the industry level are largely idiosyncratic and that the proportion of the total variance of the common cycle accounted for by seasonality is much less than for aggregate employment. This suggests that seasonal shocks may have less of a business cycle element to them than one might infer from the seasonal movements in aggregate variables.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 523-553

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:44:y:1999:i:3:p:523-553

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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References

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  1. Ghysels, E., 1991. "Are Business Cycle Turning Points Uniformly Distributed Throughout the Year?," Cahiers de recherche 9135, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  2. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Kashyap, Anil K & Wilcox, David W, 1997. "Interactions between the Seasonal and Business Cycles in Production and Inventories," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 884-92, December.
  3. Canova, Fabio & Ghysels, Eric, 1994. "Changes in seasonal patterns : Are they cyclical?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 1143-1171, November.
  4. Charles I. Plosser, 1979. "A Time Series Analysis of Seasonality in Econometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: Seasonal Analysis of Economic Time Series, pages 365-410 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Hyllerberg, S. & Engle, R.F. & Granger, C.W.J. & Yoo, B.S., 1988. "Seasonal Integration And Cointegration," Papers 0-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  9. Krane, Spencer D., 1993. "Induced seasonality and production-smoothing models of inventory behavior," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1-2), pages 135-168.
  10. Robert B. Barsky & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1989. "The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1980. "The Lagrange Multiplier Test and Its Applications to Model Specification in Econometrics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 239-53, January.
  12. Beaulieu, J Joseph & MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1992. "Why Do Countries and Industries with Large Seasonal Cycles also Have Large Business Cycles?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 621-56, May.
  13. Kenneth F. Wallis, 1979. "Seasonal Adjustment and Multiple Time Series Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Seasonal Analysis of Economic Time Series, pages 347-364 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Ghysels, Eric & Lee, Hahn S. & Noh, Jaesum, 1994. "Testing for unit roots in seasonal time series : Some theoretical extensions and a Monte Carlo investigation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 415-442, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jeffrey A. Miron & J. Joseph Beaulieu, 1995. "What Have Macroeconomists Learned about Business Cycles from the Study of Seasonal Cycles?," NBER Working Papers 5258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stephen Bazen & Velayoudom Marimoutou, 2000. "Looking for a Needle in a Haystack? A Structural Time Series Model of the Relationship Between Teenage Employment and Minimum Wages in the United States," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0495, Econometric Society.
  3. Matas-Mir, Antonio & Osborn, Denise R., 2004. "Does seasonality change over the business cycle? An investigation using monthly industrial production series," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1309-1332, December.
  4. Marcelo Veracierto, 2005. "Seasonal monetary policy," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 49-68.
  5. Irma Hindrayanto & Jan Jacobs & Denise Osborn, 2014. "On trend-cycle-seasonal interactions," DNB Working Papers 417, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  6. van Dijk, D.J.C. & Strikholm, B. & Terasvirta, T., 2001. "The effects of institutional and technological change and business cycle fluctiations on seasonal patterns in quarterly industrial production series," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2001-12, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  7. A Matas-Mir & D R Osborn, 2003. "Seasonal Adjustment and the Detection of Business Cycle Phases," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0304, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  8. Casey B. Mulligan, 2010. "Does Labor Supply Matter During a Recession? Evidence from the Seasonal Cycle," NBER Working Papers 16357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Antonio Matas-Mir & Denise R. Osborn & Marco Lombardi, 2005. "The Effect of Seasonal Adjustment on the Properties of Business Cycle Regimes," Econometrics Working Papers Archive wp2005_15, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
  10. Yoshito Funashima, 2012. "The effects of public investment smoothing as a stimulus measure on construction industry in Japan," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 1992-2006.
  11. D R Osborn & A Matas-Mir, 2003. "The Extent of Seasonal/Business Cycle Interactions in European Industrial Production," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 38, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.

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