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

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  • Albrecht Ritschl
  • Martin Uebele

Abstract

This paper examines the comovement of the stock market and of real activity in Germany before World War I under the effcient market hypothesis. We employ multivariate spectral analysis to compare rivaling national product estimates to stock market behavior 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 Spiethoff (1955), and lead us to discard later, rivaling business cycle chronologies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2005-056.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2005-056

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Keywords: Business Cycle Chronology; Imperial Germany; Spectral Analysis; Effcient Market Hypothesis;

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  1. Timothy Cogley & James M. Nason, 1993. "Effects of the Hodrick-Prescott filter on trend and difference stationary time series: implications for business cycle research," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 93-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  7. Ulrich Woitek, 1998. "A Note on the Baxter-King Filter," Working Papers 9813, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  8. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycles," Working Paper Series WP-99-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. 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.
  10. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Zingales, Luigi, 2003. "The great reversals: the politics of financial development in the twentieth century," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 5-50, July.
  11. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  12. Canova, Fabio, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts: A user's guide," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 533-540, May.
  13. Romer, Christina D, 1986. "Is the Stabilization of the Postwar Economy a Figment of the Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 314-34, June.
  14. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
  15. 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.
  16. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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  19. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, May.
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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. Reijnders, Jan P.G., 2009. "Trend movements and inverted Kondratieff waves in the Dutch economy, 1800-1913," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 90-113, June.
  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. 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.

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