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The Great Wars, The Great Crash, and the Unit Root Hypothesis: Some New Evidence About an Old Stylized Fact

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  • Dan Ben-David
  • David H. Papell

Abstract

For decades, the prevailing sentiment among economists was that growth rates remain constant over the long run. Kaldor considered this to be one of the six important 'stylized facts' that theory should address, and until the emergence of endogenous growth models, this was a fundamental feature of growth theory. This paper uses an endogenous trend break model to investigate the unit root hypothesis for 16 countries, using annual GDP data spanning up to 130 years. Rejection of the unit root, which is facilitated by the inclusion of a trend break, introduces the possibility of examining the long run behavior of growth rates. We find that most countries exhibited fairly steady growth for a period lasting several decades. The termination of this period was usually characterized by a significant, and sudden, drop in GDP levels. But rather than simply returning to their previous steady state path, as predicted by the standard neoclassical growth model, most countries continued to grow at roughly double their prebreak rates for many decades, even after their original growth path had been surpassed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4752.

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Date of creation: May 1994
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Publication status: published as Journal of Monetary Economics, vol. 36, December 1995, pp. 453-475.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4752

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  1. Eric Zivot & Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 944, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  3. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
  4. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1992. "International Evidence on the Historical Properties of Business Cycles," Working Papers 92-5, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Rappoport, Peter & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1989. "Segmented Trends and Non-stationary Time Series," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 168-77, Supplemen.
  6. Christiano, Lawrence J, 1992. "Searching for a Break in GNP," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 237-50, July.
  7. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  8. Bhargava, Alok, 1990. "An Econometric Analysis of the U.S. Postwar G.N.P," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 147-56, August.
  9. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1990. "Unit roots in real GNP: Do we know, and do we care?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 7-61, January.
  10. John Y. Campbell & Pierre Perron, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know About Unit Roots," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 141-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Banerjee, Anindya & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1992. "Recursive and Sequential Tests of the Unit-Root and Trend-Break Hypotheses: Theory and International Evidence," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 271-87, July.
  12. Raj, Baldev, 1992. "International Evidence on Persistence in Output in the Presence of an Episodic Change," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(3), pages 281-93, July-Sept.
  13. James G. MacKinnon, 1990. "Critical Values for Cointegration Tests," Working Papers 1227, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Ben-David, Dan & Papell, David H., 1995. "The great wars, the great crash, and steady state growth: Some new evidence about an old stylized fact," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 453-475, December.
  2. Gil-Alaña, Luis A., 2001. "Unit and fractional roots in the presence of abrupt changes with an application to the Brazilian inflation rate," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,67, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  3. Bruno, Michael & Easterly, William, 1995. "Inflation crises and long-run growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1517, The World Bank.
  4. Gil-Alana, L. A. & Robinson, P. M., 1997. "Testing of unit root and other nonstationary hypotheses in macroeconomic time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 241-268, October.
  5. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
  6. Asmaa Ahmed, 2005. "Random Walks in the Economic Dynamic Series," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 2, pages 78-100.
  7. Julio Herrera Revuelta & Jesus Santamaria Fidalgo, 1998. "Testing differences in long run growth among Spanish regions: Can growth models explain it?," ERSA conference papers ersa98p11, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Julio Herrera Revuelta & Jesús Santamaría Fidalgo, 1997. "Las diferencias en la aportación factorial al crecimiento económico de Castilla y León y España," Revista de Estudios Regionales, Universidades Públicas de Andalucía, vol. 3, pages 35-64.
  9. Herrera Revuelta, J. & Santamaría Fidalgo, J., 2000. "La distribución del crecimiento económico en España.1955-1993," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 14, pages 73-94, Abril.

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