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Evaluating non-structural measures of the business cycle

  • Timothy Cogley

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.

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File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/econrsrch/econrev/97-3/3-21.pdf
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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (1997)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 3-21

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1997:p:3-21:n:3
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  17. Beveridge, Stephen & Nelson, Charles R., 1981. "A new approach to decomposition of economic time series into permanent and transitory components with particular attention to measurement of the `business cycle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-174.
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