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Whatever Happened To The Business Cycle? A Bayesian Analysis Of Jobless Recoveries

Listed author(s):
  • Engemann, Kristie M.
  • Owyang, Michael T.

During the typical recovery from U.S. post-War period economic downturns, employment recovers to its pre-recession level within months of the output trough. However, during the last two recoveries, employment has taken up to two years to achieve its pre-recession benchmark. We propose a formal empirical model of business cycles with recovery periods to demonstrate that the last two recoveries have been statistically different from previous experiences. We find that this difference can be attributed to a shift in the speed of transition between business cycle regimes. Moreover, we find this shift results from both durable and non-durable manufacturing sectors losing their cyclical characteristics. We argue that this finding of acyclicality in post-1980 manufacturing sectors is consistent with previous hypotheses (e.g., improved inventory management) regarding the reduction in macroeconomic volatility over the same period. These results suggest a link between the two phenomena, which have heretofore been studied separately.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2010)
Issue (Month): 05 (November)
Pages: 709-726

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Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:14:y:2010:i:05:p:709-726_99
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  1. Owyang, Michael T. & Piger, Jeremy & Wall, Howard J., 2008. "A state-level analysis of the Great Moderation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 578-589, November.
  2. Jeremy Piger & James Morley & Chang-Jin Kim, 2005. "Nonlinearity and the permanent effects of recessions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 291-309.
  3. Daniel J. Vine & Valerie A. Ramey, 2006. "Declining Volatility in the U.S. Automobile Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1876-1889, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, October.
  6. Álvaro Escribano & Oscar Jordá, 2001. "Testing nonlinearity: Decision rules for selecting between logistic and exponential STAR models," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 193-209.
  7. Hedibert F. Lopes & Esther Salazar, 2006. "Bayesian Model Uncertainty In Smooth Transition Autoregressions," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 99-117, 01.
  8. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-384, March.
  9. Chib S. & Jeliazkov I., 2001. "Marginal Likelihood From the Metropolis-Hastings Output," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 270-281, March.
  10. Stacey L. Schreft & Aarti Singh, 2003. "A closer look at jobless recoveries," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 45-73.
  11. Kathryn Koenders & Richard Rogerson, 2005. "Organizational dynamics over the business cycle: a view on jobless recoveries," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 555-580.
  12. Stacey L. Schreft & Aarti Singh & Ashley Hodgson, 2005. "Jobless recoveries and the wait-and-see hypothesis," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 81-99.
  13. Holmes, Mark J. & Silverstone, Brian, 2006. "Okun's law, asymmetries and jobless recoveries in the United States: A Markov-switching approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 293-299, August.
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