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Regime Switches in GDP Growth and Volatility: Some International Evidence and Implications for Modeling Business Cycles

  • Smith Penelope

    ()

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Summers Peter M

    ()

    (Texas Tech University)

This paper presents additional evidence on the international nature of the “Great Moderation:" the apparent structural decline in the variance of GDP growth first documented in the United States. We find evidence of a similar reduction in volatility in the other G-7 countries and Australia. However, the timing and nature of the moderation varies considerably across countries.We also assess whether and how business cycles have changed in the period since the Great Moderation. Our results suggest that in most of these countries, the major change in business cycles has been a noticeably slower rate of GDP growth in expansions. We find little evidence of milder recessions in the post-Moderation period. Although a lower variance of growth will result in longer expansions and rarer recessions, the evidence presented here suggests that recessions have been just as severe, on average, when they do occur.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 1-19

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:36
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  1. Albert, James H & Chib, Siddhartha, 1993. "Bayes Inference via Gibbs Sampling of Autoregressive Time Series Subject to Markov Mean and Variance Shifts," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(1), pages 1-15, January.
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  3. 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.
  4. Christopher Sims & Tao Zha, 2002. "Macroeconomic switching," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  5. Hansen, Bruce E, 1992. "The Likelihood Ratio Test under Nonstandard Conditions: Testing the Markov Switching Model of GNP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages S61-82, Suppl. De.
  6. John Geweke, 1999. "Using Simulation Methods for Bayesian Econometric Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 832, Society for Computational Economics.
  7. Hess, Gregory D & Iwata, Shigeru, 1997. "Measuring and Comparing Business-Cycle Features," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 432-44, October.
  8. Don Harding & Adrian Pagan, 1999. "Dissecting the Cycle," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp1999n13, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  9. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "State-Space Models with Regime Switching: Classical and Gibbs-Sampling Approaches with Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262112388, June.
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