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What Do We Learn from Unit Roots in Macroeconomic Time Series?

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  • Danny Quah

Abstract

It is often argued that the presence of a unit root in aggregate output implies that there is no "business cycle": the economy does not return to trend following a disturbance. This paper makes this notion precise, but then develops a simple aggregative model where this relation is contradicted. In the model output both has a unit root, and displays repeated short-run fluctuations around a deterministic trend. Some summary statistical evidence is presented that suggests the phenomena described in the paper is not without empirical basis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 469.

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Date of creation: Oct 1987
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Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:469

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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
Phone: (617) 253-3361
Fax: (617) 253-1330
Web page: http://econ-www.mit.edu/
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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
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References

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  1. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1987. "Does the business cycle have duration memory?," Special Studies Papers 223, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Durlauf, Steven N & Phillips, Peter C B, 1988. "Trends versus Random Walks in Time Series Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1333-54, November.
  3. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Are Business Cycles Symmetric?," NBER Working Papers 1444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Kenneth D. West, 1989. "On the Interpretation of Near Random-Walk Behavior in GNP," NBER Working Papers 2364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joseph G. Haubrich & Andrew W. Lo, . "The Sources and Nature of Long-Term Memory in the Business Cycle," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 5-89, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. F. Goerlich, 1991. "Persistencia en las fluctuaciones económicas: evidencia para el caso español," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 15(1), pages 193-202, January.

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