The U.S. Business Cycle, 1867-1995: Dynamic Factor Analysis vs. Reconstructed National Accounts
AbstractThis paper presents insights on U.S. business cycle volatility since 1867 de- rived from diffusion indices. We employ a Bayesian dynamic factor model to obtain aggregate and sectoral economic activity indices. We find a remarkable increase in volatility across World War I, which is reversed after World War II. While we can generate evidence of postwar moderation relative to pre-1914, this evidence is not robust to structural change, implemented by time-varying factor loadings. We do find evidence of moderation in the nominal series, however, and reproduce the standard result of moderation since the 1980s. Our estimates broadly confirm the NBER historical business cycle chronology as well the National Income and Product Accounts, except for World War II where they support alternative estimates of Kuznets (1952).
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2008-066.
Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
U.S. business cycle; volatility; dynamic factor analysis;
Other versions of this item:
- Albrecht Ritschl & Samad Sarferaz & Martin Uebele, 2008. "The U.S. business cycle, 1867-1995: dynamic factor analysis vs. reconstructed national accounts," Economic History Working Papers 22305, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
- N11 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
- C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-12-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2008-12-07 (Business Economics)
- NEP-ETS-2008-12-07 (Econometric Time Series)
- NEP-HIS-2008-12-07 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-MAC-2008-12-07 (Macroeconomics)
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