An Improved Annual Chronology of U.S. Business Cycles since the 1790's
AbstractThe NBER's pre-WWI chronology of annual peaks and troughs has the remarkable implication that the U.S. economy spent nearly every other year in recession, although previous research has argued that the post-Civil War dates are flawed. This paper extends that research by redating annual peaks and troughs for the entire 1796-1914 period using a single metric: Davis' (2004) annual industrial production index. The new pre-WWI chronology alters more than 40% of the peak and troughs, and removes cycles long considered the most questionable. An important implication of the new chronology is the lack of discernible differences in the frequency and duration of industrial cycles among the pre-Civil War, Civil War to WWI, and post-WWII periods. Of course, my comparison between pre-WWI and post-WWII cycles is limited by its reliance on a single annual index (as opposed to many monthly series) that is less comprehensive than GDP.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11157.
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
- E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-03-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2005-03-06 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-MAC-2005-03-06 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Beyond shocks: what causes business cycles?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun).
- Willard Long Thorp, 1926. "Business Annals," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number thor26-1.
- Paul A. Samuelson, 1998. "Summing up on business cycles: opening address," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun), pages 33-36.
- 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.
- Douglas A. Irwin & Joseph H. Davis, 2003. "Trade Disruptions and America's Early Industrialization," NBER Working Papers 9944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1.
- Christina D. Romer, 1995.
"Remeasuring Business Cycles,"
NBER Working Papers
4150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1991.
"Have postwar economic fluctuations been stabilized?,"
Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section
116, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Diebold, Francis X & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1992. "Have Postwar Economic Fluctuations Been Stabilized?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 993-1005, September.
- Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1990. "Have postwar economic fluctuations been stabilized?," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 33, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Paul W. Rhode, 2002. "Gallman's Annual Output Series for the United States, 1834-1909," NBER Working Papers 8860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Frederic S. Mishkin, 1991.
"Asymmetric Information and Financial Crises: A Historical Perspective,"
in: Financial Markets and Financial Crises, pages 69-108
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Frederic S. Mishkin, 1991. "Asymmetric Information and Financial Crises: A Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 3400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.