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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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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2450.

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Date of creation: Nov 1987
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2450

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  1. 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.
  2. Steven N. Durlauf & Peter C.B. Phillips, 1986. "Trends Versus Random Walks in Time Series Analysis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 788, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Are Business Cycles Symmetric?," NBER Working Papers 1444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.).
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. F. Goerlich, 1991. "Persistencia en las fluctuaciones económicas: evidencia para el caso español," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 15(1), pages 193-202, January.
  3. West, Kenneth D, 1988. "On the Interpretation of Near Random-walk Behavior in GNP," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 202-09, March.

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