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The HP-Filter in Cross-Country Comparisons

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  • Albert Marcet
  • Morte O. Ravn

Abstract

Many empirical studies of business cycles have followed the practise of applying the Hodrick-Prescott filter for cross-country comparisons. The standard procedure is to set the weight \lambda, which determines the 'smoothness' of the trend equal to 1600. We show that if this value is used for against common wisdom about business cycles. As an example, we show that the long recession occurred inSpain between 1975 and 1985 goes unnotoced by the HP filter. We propose a method for adjusting \lambda by reinterpreting the HP-filter as the solution to a constrained minimization problem. We argue that the common practice of fixing \lambda across countries amounts to chankging the constraints on trend variability across countries. Our proposed method is easy to apply, retains all the virtues of the standard HP-filter and when applied to Spanish data the results are in the line with economic historian's view. Applying the method to a number of OECD countries we find that, with the exception of Spain, Italy and Japan, the standard choice of \lambda=1600 is sensible.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Studies on the Spanish Economy with number 100.

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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaeee:100

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  1. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  2. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1992. "International Evidence of the Historical Properties of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 864-88, September.
  3. Ambler, S. & Cardia, E. & Zimmermann, C., 2000. "International Business Cycles: What Are the Facts?," Cahiers de recherche 2000-05, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  4. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2001. "On Adjusting the HP-Filter for the Frequency of Observations," CESifo Working Paper Series 479, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Luis Puch & Omar Licandro, . "Are there any special features in the Spanish business cycles?," Working Papers 97-06, FEDEA.
  6. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1987. "International real business cycles," Working Papers 426, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kosei Fukuda, 2010. "Three new empirical perspectives on the Hodrick–Prescott parameter," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 713-731, December.
  2. Leon, Jorge, 2012. "Managing the Uncertainty in the Hodrick Prescott Filter," MPRA Paper 44531, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2012.
  3. Facundo Piguillem & Anderson Schneider, 2013. "Heterogeneous Labor Skills, The Median Voter and Labor Taxes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(2), pages 332-349, April.
  4. Paul Cashin, 2004. "Caribbean Business Cycles," IMF Working Papers 04/136, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Rafael Doménech & Víctor Gómez, 2005. "Ciclo económico y desempleo estructural en la economía española," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 29(2), pages 259-288, May.
  6. Imbs, Jean, 2000. "Sectors and the OECD Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 2473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jorge Enrique Restrepo & Claudio Soto, 2004. "Regularidades Empíricas de la Economía Chilena," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 301, Central Bank of Chile.
  8. repec:cml:incocp:1-02 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Ngwa Edielle, T. H. Jackson, 2006. "Soutenabilité des finances publiques au Cameroun : Approche de Bohn (1998)
    [Testing Fiscal sustainability in Cameroon : Approach of Bohn (1998)]
    ," MPRA Paper 9738, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Meriem Djennas & Mohamed Benbouziane & Mustapha Djennas, 2012. "Labor Market Structure, Foreign Trade Competitiveness and Economic Growth in Eurozone," Book Chapters, Institute of Economic Sciences.
  11. Fabio Busetti & Michele Caivano, 2013. "The trend-cycle decomposition of output and the Phillips curve: Bayesian estimates for Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 941, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  12. Jorge Enrique Restrepo L. & Claudio Soto G., 2006. "Empirical Regularities Of The Chilean Economy: 1986-2005," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 9(2), pages 15-40, August.
  13. Angel J. Ubide & Kevin Ross, 2001. "Mind the Gap," IMF Working Papers 01/203, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Choudhary, Ali & Hanif, Nadim & Iqbal, Javed, 2013. "On smoothing macroeconomic time series using HP and modified HP filter," MPRA Paper 45630, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Valdivia, Daney & Yujra, Paola, 2009. "Identificación de ciclos económicos en Bolivia: 1970-2008
    [Identification of business cycles in Bolivia: 1970-2008]
    ," MPRA Paper 35884, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Miroslav Plašil, 2011. "Potential Product, Output Gap and Uncertainty Rate Associated with Their Determination while Using the Hodrick-Prescott Filter," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(4), pages 490-507.
  17. Francisco Xavier Lores, 2001. "Cyclical Behaviour Of Consumption Of Non-Durable Goods: Spain Versus U.S.A," Economics Working Papers we014710, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  18. Rand, John & Tarp, Finn, 2002. "Business Cycles in Developing Countries: Are They Different?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2071-2088, December.

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