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The Changing Volatility Of The South African Economy

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  • Philippe Burger

Abstract

During the last decade economic literature explored the presence of and reasons for what became known as "the great moderation" in the US and other G7 countries. "The great moderation" describes the decrease in economic volatility experienced in many of the G7 countries. This paper finds that in South Africa volatility is also not constant (it even finds that there are autoregressive conditional heteroskedastic effects present) and that volatility also decreased, particularly since 1994. Following the literature, the paper explores several reasons for this decrease and finds that smaller shocks, better monetary policy and improvements in the financial sector that place less liquidity constraints on individuals and allow them to manage their debt better are some of the main reasons for the reduction in the volatility of the South African economy. The literature on the G7 also suggests that better inventory management contributed to the lower volatility. However, this seems not to be true for South Africa. Copyright (c) 2008 The Author. Journal compilation (c) 2008 Economic Society of South Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Burger, 2008. "The Changing Volatility Of The South African Economy," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(3), pages 335-355, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:sajeco:v:76:y:2008:i:3:p:335-355
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ray Barrell & Sylvia Gottschalk, 2004. "The Volatility Of The Output Gap In The G7," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 136, Royal Economic Society.
    2. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Brian M. Doyle & Jon Faust, 2002. "An investigation of co-movements among the growth rates of the G-7 countries," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Oct, pages 427-437.
    4. 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.
    5. Robert J Gordon, 2005. "What Caused the Decline in US Business Cycle Volatility?," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & David Norman (ed.), The Changing Nature of the Business Cycle Reserve Bank of Australia.
    6. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    7. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2005. "Understanding Changes In International Business Cycle Dynamics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 968-1006, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stan Du Plessis & Kevin Kotze, 2012. "Trends and Structural Changes in South African Macroeconomic Volatility," Working Papers 297, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    2. Goodness C. Aye & Mehmet Balcilar & Rangan Gupta, 2016. "The Effectiveness of Monetary Policy in South Africa under Inflation Targeting: Evidence from a Time-Varying Factor-Augmented Vector Autoregressive Model," Working Papers 201653, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

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