The Role of Sectoral Shifts in the Great Moderation
AbstractIn this paper, I study the drop of real GDP volatility which has been observed in the United States during the postwar period. This paper thoroughly estimates how much sectoral shifts contributed to this phenomenon called the Great Moderation. In a short section, Stock and Watson (2003) find that this contribution is negligible, however, their data is disaggregated only up to 10 sectors. Blanchard and Simon (2001) come to the same result. Using a new estimation method and more disaggregated data, I find that sectoral shifts contributed between 15% and 30% to the great moderation. Moreover, I find that if in the year 1949 sectoral shares had been equal to what they were in 2005, then the conditional and unconditional standard deviation of GDP growth would have been, on average, 20-25% lower in the postwar period. Finally, I find that the shift out of durable goods production has significantly stabilized real GDP growth. As a methodological contribution, I show how to use the particle filter to estimate latent covariance matrices when they follow a Wishart autoregressive process of order one. I use this in order to get, for each observation period, an estimation of the covariance matrix of the sectoral growth rates. Since real GDP growth is the sum of these sectoral growth rates weighted by the sectoral shares, it is then straightforward to use these covariance matrices to express the conditional variance of GDP growth in each period as a function of sectoral shares. Computing the unconditional variance of GDP growth as a function of sectoral shares is a bit more involved, but also quite easy using Monte Carlo simulations. My methodology to estimate covariance matrices is preferable to alternatives like estimating a multivariate GARCH model or using a Nadaraya-Watson estimator for the following reasons: The multivariate GARCH model has undesirable properties for the Monte Carlo simulations and involves estimating a large number of parameters. The Nadaraya-Watson estimator, on the other hand, does not guarantee to give positive definite covariance matrices due to the limited number of observations available for estimating the relatively big covariance matrices.
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 Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp0801.
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Schanzeneckstr. 1, PF 8573, CH-3001 Bern
Phone: 0041 31 631 45 06
Fax: 41 31 631 37 83
Web page: http://www.vwi.unibe.ch/content/publikationen/index_eng.html
More information through EDIRC
Great moderation; Sectoral Shifts; Stochastic Volatility; Wishart Autoregressive Process; Particle Filter; ARCH-GARCH; Bayesian Estimation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
- C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Bernanke, Ben S, 1983.
"Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106, February.
- Ben S. Bernanke, 1980. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," NBER Working Papers 0502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blackburn, Keith & Galindev, Ragchaasuren, 2003. "Growth, volatility and learning," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 417-421, June.
- Engle, Robert F. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1995. "Multivariate Simultaneous Generalized ARCH," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 122-150, February.
- Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
- Gourieroux, C. & Jasiak, J. & Sufana, R., 2009.
"The Wishart Autoregressive process of multivariate stochastic volatility,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 150(2), pages 167-181, June.
- Joan Jasiak & R. Sufana & C. Gourieroux, 2005. "The Wishart Autoregressive Process of Multivariate Stochastic Volatility," Working Papers 2005_2, York University, Department of Economics.
- Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995.
"Long-Term Growth and Short-Term Economic Instability,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1281, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Martin, Philippe & Ann Rogers, Carol, 2000. "Long-term growth and short-term economic instability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 359-381, February.
- Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994.
"Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative,"
Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
- Tom Doan, . "APGRADIENTTEST: RATS procedure to perform Andrews-Ploberger Structural Break Test for GARCH/Maximum Likelihood," Statistical Software Components RTS00007, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Donald W.K. Andrews & Werner Ploberger, 1992. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only Under the Alternative," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1015, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Tom Doan, . "REGHBREAK: RATS procedure to perform structural break test with bootstrapped p-values," Statistical Software Components RTS00176, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Tom Doan, . "APBREAKTEST: RATS procedure to implement Andrews-Ploberger Structural Break Test," Statistical Software Components RTS00006, Boston College Department of Economics.
- K Blackburn & R Galindev, 2003. "Growth, volatility and learning," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 25, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
- K Blackburn & R Galindev, 2003. "Growth, Volatility and Learning," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0303, Economics, The University of Manchester.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Silvia Glusstein-Gerber).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.