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Business Cycle Asymmetry: A Deeper Look

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  • Sichel, Daniel E

Abstract

This paper distinguishes two types of asymmetry in business cycles: deepness and steepness. Deepness is defined as the characteristic that troughs are further below trend than peaks are above. Most previous research has focused exclusively on steepness, which refers to cycles in which contractions are steeper than expansions. A test for deepness is proposed and applied to U.S. postwar quarterly unemployment, real GNP, and industrial production. Evidence of deepness is found for unemployment and industrial production, while the evidence for real GNP is weaker. Previous evidence of steepness in unemployment is confirmed. Copyright 1993 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Sichel, Daniel E, 1993. "Business Cycle Asymmetry: A Deeper Look," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 224-236, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:31:y:1993:i:2:p:224-36
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