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Historical Evidence on Business Cycles: The International Experience

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Author Info

  • Bergman, U. Michael

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Bordo, Michael D.

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Jonung, Lars

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper examines the characteristics of business cycles within and across thirteen countries for more than a century of observations adopting a monetary regime perspective. We search for empirical regularities of business cycle fluctuations during three monetary regimes; the classical gold standard, the interwar period and the post-World War II period. Our empirical results, based on bandpass filtered data, suggest that business cycle fluctuations have remained surprisingly stable across monetary regimes and across countries. In particular, the procyclical pattern for consumption, investment, exports and imports is stable across regimes and countries. We find a rise in the frequency of significant cyclical comovements across countries, possibly reflecting a recent rise in economic integration. Our evidence suggests that both the amplitude and the symmetry of business cycles have changed over time. The post-World War II period is marginally less volatile than the gold standard period while the interwar period is more volatile.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 255.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 03 Sep 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Beyond Shocks: What Causes Business Cycles?, Fuhrer, Jeffrey C., Schuh, Scott (eds.), 1998, pages 65-113, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0255

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Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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Keywords: Business cycles; monetary regimes; amplitude; symmetry and comovement of cycles;

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