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Stock Markets and Business Cycle Comovement in Germany Before World War I: Evidence from Spectral Analysis

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  • Ritschl, Albrecht
  • Uebele, Martin

Abstract

This paper examines the comovement of the stock market and of real activity in Germany before World War I under the efficient market hypothesis. We employ multivariate spectral analysis to compare rivaling national product estimates to stock market behaviour in the frequency domain. Close comovement of one series with the stock market enables us to decide between various rivaling business cycle chronologies. We find that business cycle dates obtained from deflated national product series are severely distorted by interference with the implicit price deflator. Among the nominal series, the income estimate of Hoffmann (1965) correlates best with the stock market, while the tax based estimate of Hoffmann and Müller (1959) is too smooth especially before 1890. We find impressive comovement between the stock market and nominal wages, a sub-series of Hoffmann's income estimate. We can show that a substantial part of this nominal wage series is driven by data on real investment activity. Our findings confirm the traditional business cycle chronology for Germany of Burns and Mitchell (1946), and lead us to discard later attempts to date the business cycle.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5370.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5370

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Keywords: business cycle chronology; efficient market hypothesis; Imperial Germany; spectral analysis;

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  1. Ulrich Woitek, 1998. "A Note on the Baxter-King Filter," Working Papers, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow 9813, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
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  14. Samad Sarferaz & Martin Uebele, 2007. "Tracking Down the Business Cycle: A Dynamic Factor Model For Germany 1820-1913," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-039, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  15. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Samad Sarferaz & Martin Uebele, 2007. "Tracking Down the Business Cycle: A Dynamic Factor Model For Germany 1820-1913," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-039, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  2. William A. Allen & Richhild Moessner, 2011. "The international propagation of the financial crisis of 2008 and a comparison with 1931," BIS Working Papers 348, Bank for International Settlements.
  3. Rania Jammazi & Chaker Aloui, 2014. "Cyclical components and dual long memory in the foreign exchange rate dynamics: the Tunisian case," Working Papers 2014-198, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  4. Reijnders, Jan P.G., 2009. "Trend movements and inverted Kondratieff waves in the Dutch economy, 1800-1913," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 90-113, June.

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