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Asymmetry and Duration Dependence in Australian GDP and Unemployment


  • Bodman, Philip M


The periodic structure of business cycles suggests that significant asymmetries are present over different phases of the cycle. This paper uses Markov regime-switching models with fixed and duration dependent transition probabilities to directly model expansions, contractions and durations in Australian GDP growth and unemployment growth. Evidence is found of significant asymmetry in growth rates across expansions and contractions for both series. GDP contractions exhibit duration dependence implying that as output recessions age the likelihood of switching into an expansion phase increases. Unemployment growth does not exhibit duration dependence in either phase. Evidence is also presented that nonlinearities in unemployment growth are well explained by the asymmetries in the GDP growth cycle. The analysis suggests that recessions are periods of rapid and intense job destruction, that Australian unemployment tends to ratchet up in recessionary periods and, in contrast to U.S. and U.K. studies, that shocks to Australian unemployment growth are more persistent in recessions than expansions. Copyright 1998 by The Economic Society of Australia.

Suggested Citation

  • Bodman, Philip M, 1998. "Asymmetry and Duration Dependence in Australian GDP and Unemployment," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 74(227), pages 399-411, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:74:y:1998:i:227:p:399-411

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kremers, Jeroen J M & Ericsson, Neil R & Dolado, Juan J, 1992. "The Power of Cointegration Tests," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 325-348, August.
    2. Philip Lowe & Luci Ellis, 1997. "The Smoothing of Official Interest Rates," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Philip Lowe (ed.), Monetary Policy and Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
    3. Philip Lowe, 1997. "Introduction to Monetary Policy and Inflation Targeting," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Philip Lowe (ed.), Monetary Policy and Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
    4. Clements, Michael P & Hendry, David F, 1996. "Intercept Corrections and Structural Change," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(5), pages 475-494, Sept.-Oct.
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    Cited by:

    1. Moolman, Elna, 2004. "A Markov switching regime model of the South African business cycle," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 631-646, July.
    2. Uctum, Remzi, 2007. "Économétrie des modèles à changement de régimes : un essai de synthèse," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 83(4), pages 447-482, décembre.
    3. Narayan, Paresh Kumar, 2008. "An investigation of the behaviour of Australia's business cycle," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 676-683, July.
    4. Bårdsen Gunnar & Hurn Stanley & McHugh Zöe, 2012. "Asymmetric Unemployment Rate Dynamics in Australia," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 1-22, January.
    5. Breunig, Robert V & Pagan, Adrian R, 2004. "Do Markov-switching models capture nonlinearities in the data?," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 401-407.
    6. Patrick J. Wilson & L.J. Perry, 2004. "Forecasting Australian Unemployment Rates using Spectral Analysis," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(4), pages 459-480, December.
    7. Enders, Walter & Hurn, Stan, 2002. "Asymmetric price adjustment and the Phillips curve," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 395-412, September.
    8. Le, Anh T & Miller, Paul W, 2000. "Australia's Unemployment Problem," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 76(232), pages 74-104, March.
    9. Ricardo Hausmann & Rodrigo Wagner & Francisco Rodriguez, 2006. "Growth Collapses," CID Working Papers 136, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    10. Paul Cashin & Sam Ouliaris, 2004. "Key Features of Australian Business Cycles," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 39-58, March.
    11. Maki, Daiki, 2009. "Some properties of a unit root test with multiple level shifts in the presence of Markov level shifts," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 79(5), pages 1754-1760.
    12. Adrian Pagan, 2002. "Learning About Models and Their Fit to Data," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 1-18.
    13. Taylor, Andrew & Shepherd, David & Duncan, Stephen, 2005. "The structure of the Australian growth process: A Bayesian model selection view of Markov switching," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 628-645, July.
    14. João Sousa Andrade, 2007. "Uma Aplicação da Lei de Okun em Portugal," GEMF Working Papers 2007-04, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    15. Phil Bodman, "undated". "Are the Effects of Monetary Policy Asymmetric in Australia?," MRG Discussion Paper Series 0406, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    16. Gunnar Bårdsen & Stan Hurn & Zoë McHugh, 2002. "A smooth-transition model of the Australian unemployment rate," Working Paper Series 1002, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, revised 01 Jul 2003.

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