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Reconsidering the Evidence: Are Euro Area Business Cycles Converging?

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  • Michael Massmann

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  • James Mitchell

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Abstract

This paper, using 40 years of monthly industrial production data, examines the relationship between the business cycles of the 12 euro area countries. Since estimates of the business cycle have been found to be sensitive to how the cycle is measured, a range of alternative measures is considered. We focus on both parametric and nonparametric univariate measures of the "classical" and "growth" cycles. We then investigate whether euro area business cycles have converged. This is based on a descriptive analysis of the distribution of bivariate correlation coefficients between the 12 countries’ business cycles. This extends previous work that has looked for convergence, in a similar manner by focusing on correlation, but has not considered the entire distribution, instead focusing on the mean correlation coefficient or particular bivariate correlation coefficients. Moreover, exploiting the panel of correlation coefficients we propose a statistical test for convergence based on estimation of a dynamic heterogeneous panel data model. Although empirical inference about individual euro area business cycles is found to be sensitive to the measure of the business cycle considered, our findings about convergence between the euro area business cycles exhibit similarities across the alternative measures of the business cycle. Interestingly, we find that there have been periods of convergence, identified by the distribution tending to unity, and periods of divergence. The most recent estimates suggest that correlation between the 12 European cycles is statistically positive, and has risen from a trough in the early 1990s. This is confirmed by the test for convergence, which indicates that, despite some volatility over the last 20 years, the long-run trend is for rising correlation between euro area business cycles.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Massmann & James Mitchell, 2005. "Reconsidering the Evidence: Are Euro Area Business Cycles Converging?," Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2004(3), pages 275-307.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stdkaa:5lgv2584100r
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/jbcma-v2004-art16-en
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Erdenebat Bataa & Denise R. Osborn & Marianne Sensier & Dick van Dijk, 2009. "Changes in International Business Cycle Affiliations," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0924, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    2. Emilio Espino & Julian Kozlowski & Juan M. Sánchez, 2013. "Regionalization vs. globalization," Working Papers 2013-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    3. António Caleiro, 2011. "Acerca da importância da sincronização do ciclo económico português no contexto europeu," Economics Working Papers 4_2011, University of Évora, Department of Economics (Portugal).
    4. Klaus Weyerstrass & Bas Aarle & Marcus Kappler & Atilim Seymen, 2011. "Business Cycle Synchronisation with(in) the Euro Area: in Search of a ‘Euro Effect’," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 427-446, July.
    5. Iulia Siedschlag, 2008. "Macroeconomic Differentials and Adjustment in the Euro Area," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 2008/3 edited by Morten Balling.
    6. Hideaki Hirata & M. Ayhan Kose & Chris Otrok, "undated". "Regionalization vs. Globalization," Working Paper 164456, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    7. Luc Dresse & Christophe Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2008. "Do survey indicators let us see the business cycle ? A frequency decomposition," Working Paper Research 131, National Bank of Belgium.
    8. Holtemöller, Oliver (Ed.) & Rahn, Jörg (Ed.) & Stierle, Michael H. (Ed.), 2009. "Characteristics of Business Cycles: Have they Changed?," IWH-Sonderhefte 5/2009, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    9. Jakob de Haan & Robert Inklaar & Richard Jong-A-Pin, 2008. "Will Business Cycles In The Euro Area Converge? A Critical Survey Of Empirical Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 234-273, April.
    10. Konstantakopoulou, Ioanna & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2014. "Half a century of empirical evidence of business cycles in OECD countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 389-409.
    11. Fernandez, Viviana, 2006. "Does domestic cooperation lead to business-cycle convergence and financial linkages?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 369-396, July.
    12. Nenad Stanisic, 2013. "Convergence between the business cycles of Central and Eastern European countries and the Euro area," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 13(1), pages 63-74, July.
    13. Esser, Andreas, 2014. "A Wavelet Approach to Synchronization of Output Cycles," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100545, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Ioanna Konstantakopoulou & Eftymios Tsionas & Tryphon Kollintzas, 2009. "Stylized Facts of Prices and Interest Rates over the Business Cycle," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2613-2627.
    15. Barrett, Alan & Bergin, Adele & FitzGerald, John & Traistaru-Siedschlag, Iulia, 2006. "Economic Assessment of the Euro Area: Forecasts and Policy Analysis, Autumn Report 2006," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number sustat22.
    16. Gächter, Simon & Riedl, Alesandra & Ritzberger-Grünwald, Doris, 2013. "Business cycle convergence or decoupling? : Economic adjustment in CESEE during the crisis," BOFIT Discussion Papers 3/2013, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

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