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Remeasuring Business Cycles


  • Romer, Christina D.


This paper evaluates the consistency of the NBER business cycle reference dates over time. Analysis of the NBER methods suggests that the early turning points are derived from detrended data, while the dates after 1927 are derived from data in levels. To evaluate the importance of this and other changes in technique, the paper derives a simple algorithm that matches the postwar NBER peaks and troughs closely. When this algorithm is applied to data for 1884-1940, the new dates systematically place peaks later and troughs earlier than do the NBER dates. Using the new business cycle chronology, recessions have not become shorter, less severe, or less persistent between the pre-World War I and the post-World War 11 eras. Expansions, however, have become longer.
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  • Romer, Christina D., 1994. "Remeasuring Business Cycles," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 573-609, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:54:y:1994:i:03:p:573-609_01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. White, Eugene Nelson, 1984. "A Reinterpretation of the Banking Crisis of 1930," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(01), pages 119-138, March.
    2. Charles W. Calomiris, 1989. "Deposit insurance: lessons from the record," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue May, pages 10-30.
    3. Frederick T. Furlong & Michael C. Keeley, 1991. "Capital regulation and bank risk-taking: a note (reprinted from Journal of Banking and Finance)," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sum, pages 34-39.
    4. Wheelock, David C & Kumbhakar, Subal C, 1995. "Which Banks Choose Deposit Insurance? Evidence of Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard in a Voluntary Insurance System," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 186-201, February.
    5. Wheelock, David C, 1992. "Deposit Insurance and Bank Failures: New Evidence from the 1920s," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 530-543, July.
    6. Kareken, John H & Wallace, Neil, 1978. "Deposit Insurance and Bank Regulation: A Partial-Equilibrium Exposition," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 413-438, July.
    7. Thornton Cooke, 1909. "The Insurance of Bank Deposits in the West," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 85-88.
    8. White, Eugene Nelson, 1985. "The Merger Movement in Banking, 1919–1933," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(02), pages 285-291, June.
    9. Alston Lee J. & Grove Wayne A. & Wheelock David C., 1994. "Why Do Banks Fail? Evidence from the 1920s," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 409-431, October.
    10. Alston, Lee J., 1983. "Farm Foreclosures in the United States During the Interwar Period," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(04), pages 885-903, December.
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    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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