Have Postwar Economic Fluctuations Been Stabilized?
Previous investigations of whether the volatility of the U.S. economy diminished after World War II have been inconclusive because of questionable prewar macroeconomic aggregates. We examine, more broadly, the hypothesis of the stabilization of the postwar economy by focusing on the duration of business cycles, rather than their amplitude; in the process, we avoid the debate about the quality of prewar aggregates. Using distribution-free statistics, we find clear evidence of postwar duration stabilization in terms of a shift toward longer expansions and shorter contractions. Moreover, we find no shift in whole-cycle durations, which suggests a reallocation of the business cycle away from contraction and toward expansion.
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Volume (Year): 82 (1992)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
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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.:
- Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1988.
"A nonparametric investigation of duration dependence in the American business cycle,"
Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section
90, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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0459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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