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A Revision of the US Business- Cycles Chronology 1790–1928

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  • Amélie Charles

    (Audencia - Audencia)

  • Olivier Darné

    (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272)

  • Claude Diebolt

    ()
    (BETA - Bureau d'économie théorique et appliquée - CNRS : UMR7522 - Université de Strasbourg - Université Nancy II)

Abstract

This article extends earlier efforts at redating the US business cycles for the 1790–1928 period using the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) constructed by Johnson and Williamson (2007). We compare the alternative chronology with those of the NBER and Davis (2006) as well as Romer (1994) for the postbellum period. The resulting chronology alters more than 50% percent of the peaks and troughs identified by the NBER and Davis's chronologies, especially during the antebellum period, and removes those cycles long considered the most question- able, as growth or industrial cycles. An important result of the new chronology is the lack of discernible differences in the frequency and duration of US busi- ness cycles among the antebellum and postbellum periods. We also find that the average frequency and duration of contractions are less important than those of expansions.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00570304.

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Date of creation: 27 Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00570304

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Keywords: Business cycle; Dating chronology;

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  1. Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
  2. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, June.
  3. Christina D. Romer, 1999. "Changes in Business Cycles: Evidence and Explanations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
  4. Simon Kuznets & Lillian Epstein & Elizabeth Jenks, 1941. "National Income and Its Composition, 1919-1938, Volume I," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn41-1, June.
  5. Artis, Michael J & Marcellino, Massimiliano & Proietti, Tommaso, 2003. "Dating the Euro Area Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 3696, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Davis, Joseph H., 2006. "An Improved Annual Chronology of U.S. Business Cycles since the 1790s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(01), pages 103-121, March.
  7. Christina Romer & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1989. "A New Monthly Index of Industrial Production, 1884-1940," NBER Working Papers 3172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christina D. Romer, 1986. "The Prewar Business Cycle Reconsidered: New Estimates of Gross NationalProduct, 1869-1918," NBER Working Papers 1969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Christina D. Romer, 1992. "Remeasuring Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 4150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Victor Zarnowitz, 1992. "Business Cycles: Theory, History, Indicators, and Forecasting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number zarn92-1, June.
  11. Trescott, Paul B., 1966. "Federal Government Receipts and Expenditures, 1861–1875," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(02), pages 206-222, June.
  12. Weiss, Thomas, 1967. "The Service Sector in the United States, 1839 to 1899," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(04), pages 625-628, December.
  13. Willard Long Thorp, 1926. "Business Annals," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number thor26-1, June.
  14. Willard Long Thorp, 1926. "Business Annals: Prefatory Note," NBER Chapters, in: Business Annals, pages 101-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Simon Kuznets & Lillian Epstein & Elizabeth Jenks, 1946. "National Product Since 1869," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn46-1, June.
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