IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v84y1994i1p24-46.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Business-Cycle Durations and Postwar Stabilization of the U.S. Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Watson, Mark W

Abstract

Average postwar expansions are twice as long as prewar expansions and contractions are one-half as long. This paper investigates three possible explanations. The first explanation is that shocks to the economy have been smaller in the postwar period. The second explanation is that the composition of output has shifted from very cyclical sectors to less cyclical sectors. The third explanation is that the apparent stabilization is largely spurious and is caused by differences in the way that prewar and postwar business-cycle reference dates were chosen by the National Bureau of Economic Research The evidence presented in this paper favors this third explanation. Copyright 1994 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Watson, Mark W, 1994. "Business-Cycle Durations and Postwar Stabilization of the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 24-46, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:84:y:1994:i:1:p:24-46
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-8282%28199403%2984%3A1%3C24%3ABDAPSO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-G&origin=repec
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to JSTOR subscribers. See http://www.jstor.org for details.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "The Changing Cyclical Variability of Economic Activity in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 679-734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord86-1.
    5. Martin Neil Baily, 1978. "Stabilization Policy and Private Economic Behavior," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(1), pages 11-60.
    6. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I., 1994. "Real business cycles and the test of the Adelmans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 405-438, April.
    7. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1.
    8. Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1927. "Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mitc27-1.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. McKay, Alisdair & Reis, Ricardo, 2008. "The brevity and violence of contractions and expansions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 738-751, May.
    2. Selgin, George & Lastrapes, William D. & White, Lawrence H., 2012. "Has the Fed been a failure?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 569-596.
    3. Christina D. Romer, 1999. "Changes in Business Cycles: Evidence and Explanations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
    4. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Business cycle fluctuations in us macroeconomic time series," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-64, Elsevier.
    5. Nathan S. Balke & Mark A. Wynne, 1993. "Recessions and recoveries in real business cycle models: do real business cycle models generate cyclical behavior?," Working Papers 9322, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    6. Paul Cashin & Sam Ouliaris, 2004. "Key Features of Australian Business Cycles," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 39-58, March.
    7. Martínez-García, Enrique & Grossman, Valerie & Mack, Adrienne, 2015. "A contribution to the chronology of turning points in global economic activity (1980–2012)," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 170-185.
    8. U. Michael Bergman & Michael D. Bordo & Lars Jonung, 1998. "Historical evidence on business cycles: the international experience," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun), pages 65-119.
    9. Viv B. Hall & C. John McDermott, 2007. "Regional business cycles in New Zealand: Do they exist? What might drive them?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(2), pages 167-191, June.
    10. Aiolfi, Marco & Catão, Luis A.V. & Timmermann, Allan, 2011. "Common factors in Latin America's business cycles," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 212-228, July.
    11. Emanuel Mönch & Harald Uhlig, 2003. "Towards a Monthly Business Cycle Chronology for the Euro Area," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-023, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Apr 2005.
    12. Enrique A. López-Enciso, 2017. "Dos tradiciones en la medición del ciclo: historia general y desarrollos en Colombia," Borradores de Economia 986, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    13. Mr. Paul Cashin, 2004. "Caribbean Business Cycles," IMF Working Papers 2004/136, International Monetary Fund.
    14. Charles, Amélie & Darné, Olivier & Diebolt, Claude & Ferrara, Laurent, 2015. "A new monthly chronology of the US industrial cycles in the prewar economy," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 3-9.
    15. Charles W. Calomiris & Christopher Hanes, 1994. "Historical Macroeconomics and American Macroeconomic History," NBER Working Papers 4935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Travis Berge & Òscar Jordà, 2013. "A chronology of turning points in economic activity: Spain, 1850–2011," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, March.
    17. Enrique López Enciso, 2019. "Dos tradiciones en la medición del ciclo: historia general y desarrollos en Colombia," Tiempo y Economía, Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano, vol. 6(1), pages 77-142, February.
    18. Sonia de Lucas Santos & M. Jesús Delgado Rodríguez & Inmaculada Álvarez Ayuso & José Luis Cendejas Bueno, 2011. "Los ciclos económicos internacionales: antecedentes y revisión de la literatura," Cuadernos de Economía - Spanish Journal of Economics and Finance, Asociación Cuadernos de Economía, vol. 34(95), pages 73-84, Agosto.
    19. Peter McAdam, 2007. "USA, Japan and the Euro Area: Comparing Business-Cycle Features," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 135-156.
    20. Mr. Tamim Bayoumi & Mr. Thomas Helbling, 2003. "Are they All in the Same Boat? the 2000-2001 Growth Slowdown and the G-7 Business Cycle Linkages," IMF Working Papers 2003/046, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:84:y:1994:i:1:p:24-46. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.