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Evaluating non-structural measures of the business cycle

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  • Timothy Cogley

Abstract

This paper evaluates a number of non-structural measures of the business cycle. It adopts a structural definition of the cycle, interprets non-structural measures as noisy approximations, and seeks a proxy that is reliable across a variety of plausible trend-cycle structures. The results favor a consumption-based measure proposed by Cochrane (1994). Across a variety of structures, it has the highest correlation and coherence with structural cycles, and best matches their dynamic properties. When applied to U.S. data, consumption-based measures conform closely to the dates of NBER recessions. They also yield a strong negative correlation between the cyclical components of productivity and hours, a fact that deepens the challenge to models which emphasize technology shocks as the primary source of business cycles.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Cogley, 1997. "Evaluating non-structural measures of the business cycle," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1997:p:3-21:n:3
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    Cited by:

    1. John P. Judd & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1998. "Taylor's rule and the Fed, 1970-1997," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-16.
    2. St-Amant, P. & van Norden, S., 1997. "Measurement of the Output Gap: A Discussion of Recent Research at the Bank of Canada," Technical Reports 79, Bank of Canada.
    3. Lamey, L. & Deleersnyder, B. & Dekimpe, M.G. & Steenkamp, J-B.E.M., 2005. "The Impact of Business-Cycle Fluctuations on Private-Label Share," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-061-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    4. Ozlale, Umit, 2003. "Price stability vs. output stability: tales of federal reserve administrations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1595-1610, July.
    5. St-Amant, P. & Tessier, D., 1998. "A Discussion of the Reliability of Results Obtained with Long-Run Identifying Restrictions," Staff Working Papers 98-4, Bank of Canada.
    6. Ozbek, Levent & Ozlale, Umit, 2005. "Employing the extended Kalman filter in measuring the output gap," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1611-1622, September.
    7. Dueker Michael & Fischer Andreas & Dittmar Robert, 2007. "Stochastic Capital Depreciation and the Co-movement of Hours and Productivity," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-24, January.
    8. Lalonde, René, 1998. "Le PIB potentiel des États-Unis et ses déterminants : la productivité de la main-d'oeuvre et le taux d'activité," Staff Working Papers 98-13, Bank of Canada.
    9. Timothy Cogley & Desiree Schaan, 1995. "Using consumption to track movements in trend GDP," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue sep1.
    10. Luca Benati, 2001. "Band-pass filtering, cointegration, and business cycle analysis," Bank of England working papers 142, Bank of England.
    11. Guay, A & St-Amant, P, 1996. "Do Mechanical Filters Provide a Good Approximation of Business Cycles?," Working Papers-Department of Finance Canada 1996-2, Department of Finance Canada.
    12. Alain Guay & Pierre Saint-Amant, 2005. "Do the Hodrick-Prescott and Baxter-King Filters Provide a Good Approximation of Business Cycles?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 77, pages 133-155.
    13. Chantal Dupasquier & Alain Guay & Pierre St-Amant, 1997. "A Comparison of Alternative Methodologies for Estimating Potential Output and the Output Gap," Staff Working Papers 97-5, Bank of Canada.

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    Keywords

    Business cycles;

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