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Let's take a break: Trends and cycles in US real GDP

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  • Perron, Pierre
  • Wada, Tatsuma

Abstract

Trend-cycle decompositions for US real GDP such as the unobserved components models, the Beveridge-Nelson decomposition, the Hodrick-Prescott filter and others yield very different cycles which bear little resemblance to the NBER chronology, ascribes much movements to the trend leaving little to the cycle, and some imply a negative correlation between the noise to the cycle and the trend. We argue that these features are artifacts created by the neglect of a change in the slope of the trend function. Once this is accounted for, all methods yield the same cycle with a trend that is non-stochastic except for a few periods around 1973. The cycle is more important in magnitude than previously reported and it accords well with the NBER chronology. Our results are corroborated using an alternative trend-cycle decomposition based on a generalized unobserved components models with errors having a mixture of normals distribution for both the slope of the trend function and the cyclical component.

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  • Perron, Pierre & Wada, Tatsuma, 2009. "Let's take a break: Trends and cycles in US real GDP," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 749-765, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:56:y:2009:i:6:p:749-765
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    Keywords

    Trend-cycle decomposition Structural change Non-Gaussian filtering Unobserved components model Beveridge-Nelson decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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