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Evaluating non-structural measures of the business cycle

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  • Timothy Cogley

Abstract

This paper evaluates a number of non-structural measures of the business cycle. It adopts a structural definition of the cycle, interprets non-structural measures as noisy approximations, and seeks a proxy that is reliable across a variety of plausible trend-cycle structures. The results favor a consumption-based measure proposed by Cochrane (1994). Across a variety of structures, it has the highest correlation and coherence with structural cycles, and best matches their dynamic properties. When applied to U.S. data, consumption-based measures conform closely to the dates of NBER recessions. They also yield a strong negative correlation between the cyclical components of productivity and hours, a fact that deepens the challenge to models which emphasize technology shocks as the primary source of business cycles.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (1997)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 3-21

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1997:p:3-21:n:3

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Keywords: Business cycles;

References

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  1. Danny Quah, 1991. "The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identification and Some Theoretical Bounds," FMG Discussion Papers dp126, Financial Markets Group.
  2. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1995. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1121-57, December.
  3. Cogley, T., 1989. "International Evidence On The Size Of The Random Walk In Output," Working Papers 89-02, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  4. Evans, George & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1994. "Information, forecasts, and measurement of the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 233-254, April.
  5. Romer, Christina D., 1994. "Remeasuring Business Cycles," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 573-609, September.
  6. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1994. "Diffusion of Technical Change and the Decomposition of Output into Trend and Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 19-30, January.
  7. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1993. "Low frequency filtering and real business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 207-231.
  8. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
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  13. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1988. "A nonparametric investigation of duration dependence in the American business cycle," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 90, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  17. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-73, April.
  18. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, octubre-d.
  19. 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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  22. Beveridge, Stephen & Nelson, Charles R., 1981. "A new approach to decomposition of economic time series into permanent and transitory components with particular attention to measurement of the `business cycle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-174.
  23. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-47, July-Sept.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Timothy Cogley & Desiree Schaan, 1995. "Using consumption to track movements in trend GDP," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue sep1.
  2. Michael J. Dueker & Andreas M. Fischer & Robert D. Dittmar, 2004. "Stochastic capital depreciation and the comovement of hours and productivity," Working Papers 2002-003, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Odile Chagny & Jörg Döpke, 2001. "Measures of the Output Gap in the Euro-Zone: An Empirical Assessment of Selected Methods," Kiel Working Papers 1053, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Ozbek, Levent & Ozlale, Umit, 2005. "Employing the extended Kalman filter in measuring the output gap," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1611-1622, September.
  5. Alain Guay & Pierre St-Amant, 1997. "Do the Hodrick-Prescott and Baxter-King Filters Provide a Good Approximation of Business Cycles?," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 53, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  6. Lalonde, René, 1998. "Le PIB potentiel des États-Unis et ses déterminants : la productivité de la main-d'oeuvre et le taux d'activité," Working Papers 98-13, Bank of Canada.
  7. Luca Benati, 2001. "Band-pass filtering, cointegration, and business cycle analysis," Bank of England working papers 142, Bank of England.
  8. St-Amant, P. & van Norden, S., 1997. "Measurement of the Output Gap: A Discussion of Recent Research at the Bank of Canada," Technical Reports 79, Bank of Canada.
  9. John P. Judd & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1998. "Taylor's rule and the Fed, 1970-1997," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-16.
  10. Ozlale, Umit, 2003. "Price stability vs. output stability: tales of federal reserve administrations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1595-1610, July.
  11. Chantal Dupasquier & Alain Guay & Pierre St-Amant, 1997. "A Comparison of Alternative Methodologies for Estimating Potential Output and the Output Gap," Working Papers 97-5, Bank of Canada.
  12. St-Amant, P. & Tessier, D., 1998. "A Discussion of the Reliability of Results Obtained with Long-Run Identifying Restrictions," Working Papers 98-4, Bank of Canada.
  13. Guay, A & St-Amant, P, 1996. "Do Mechanical Filters Provide a Good Approximation of Business Cycles?," Technical Reports 78, Bank of Canada.
  14. Kivilcim Metin-Ozcan & Ebru Voyvoda & A. Erinc Yeldan, 2000. "Dynamics of Macroeconomic Adjustment in a Globalized Developing Economy: Growth, Accumulation and Distribution, Turkey 1969-1998," Working Papers 2004, Economic Research Forum, revised Feb 2000.
  15. Lamey, L. & Deleersnyder, B. & Dekimpe, M.G. & Steenkamp, J-B.E.M., 2005. "The Impact of Business-Cycle Fluctuations on Private-Label Share," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-061-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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