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Recent Changes in the US Business Cycle

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  • Marcelle Chauvet
  • Simon Potter

Abstract

The US business cycle expansion that started in March 1991 is the longest on record. In this paper we use statistical techniques to examine whether this expansion is a one‐time unique event or whether its length is a result of a change in the stability of the US economy. Bayesian methods are used to estimate a common factor model that allows for structural breaks in the dynamics of a wide range of macroeconomic variables. We find strong evidence that a reduction in volatility is common to the series examined. Further, the reduction in volatility implies that future expansions will be considerably longer than the historical record.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcelle Chauvet & Simon Potter, 2001. "Recent Changes in the US Business Cycle," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(5), pages 481-508, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:manchs:v:69:y:2001:i:5:p:481-508
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9957.00266
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    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. Sensier, M. & van Dijk, D.J.C., 2001. "Short-term volatility versus long-term growth: evidence in US macroeconomic time series," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2001-11, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    3. Romer, Christina D., 1994. "Remeasuring Business Cycles," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 573-609, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Chauvet, Marcelle, 1998. "An Econometric Characterization of Business Cycle Dynamics with Factor Structure and Regime Switching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 969-996, November.
    6. Koop, Gary & Potter, Simon M., 1998. "Bayes factors and nonlinearity: Evidence from economic time series1," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 251-281, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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