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The Great Moderation and The Relationship between Output Growth and Its Volatility


  • Wen-Shwo Fang

    () (Department of Economics, Feng Chia University, 100 Wen-Hwa Road, Taichung, Taiwan)

  • Stephen M. Miller

    () (College of Business, University of Nevada–Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-6005, USA)


This study examines the effect of the Great Moderation on the relationship between U.S. output growth and its volatility over the period 1947 to 2006. First, we consider the possible effects of structural changes in the volatility process. We employ generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity in mean (GARCH-M) specifications, which describe output growth rate and its volatility with and without a one-time structural break in volatility. Second, our data analyses and empirical results suggest no significant relationship between the output growth rate and its volatility; this favors the traditional wisdom of dichotomy in macroeconomics. Moreover, the evidence shows that the time-varying variance falls sharply or even disappears once we incorporate a one-time structural break in the unconditional variance of output starting in 1982 or 1984. That is, the integrated GARCH effect proves spurious. Finally, a joint test of a trend change and a one-time shift in the volatility process finds that the one-time shift dominates.

Suggested Citation

  • Wen-Shwo Fang & Stephen M. Miller, 2008. "The Great Moderation and The Relationship between Output Growth and Its Volatility," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 819-838, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:74:3:y:2008:p:819-838

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Persistence of Volatility and Stock Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1142-1151, December.
    2. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
    3. Speight, Alan E H, 1999. "UK Output Variability and Growth: Some Further Evidence," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(2), pages 175-184, May.
    4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
    5. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1993. "Productivity growth and the structure of the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 861-883, May.
    6. Matthew Rafferty, 2005. "The Effects of Expected and Unexpected Volatility on Long-Run Growth: Evidence from 18 Developed Economies," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 582-591, January.
    7. Peter M. Summers, 2005. "What caused the Great Moderation? : some cross-country evidence," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 5-32.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fang, WenShwo & Miller, Stephen M., 2009. "Modeling the volatility of real GDP growth: The case of Japan revisited," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 312-324, August.
    2. Grydaki, Maria & Bezemer, Dirk, 2013. "The role of credit in the Great Moderation: A multivariate GARCH approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4615-4626.
    3. Giorgio Canarella & WenShwo Fang & Stephen M. Miller & Stephen K. Pollard, 2008. "Is the Great Moderation Ending? UK and US Evidence," Working Papers 0801, University of Nevada, Las Vegas , Department of Economics.
    4. repec:dgr:rugsom:14030-gem is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jorge M. Andraz & Nelia M. Norte, 2013. "Output volatility in the OECD: Are the member states becoming less vulnerable to exogenous shocks?," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 18(2), pages 91-122, September.
    6. WenShwo Fang & Stephen M. Miller, 2014. "Output Growth and its Volatility: The Gold Standard through the Great Moderation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 728-751, January.
    7. Go Tamakoshi & Shigeyuki Hamori, 2014. "Greek sovereign bond index, volatility, and structural breaks," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 38(4), pages 687-697, October.
    8. Jiranyakul, Komain, 2011. "The Link between Output Growth and Output Volatility in Five Crisis-Affected Asian Countries," MPRA Paper 46068, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. repec:spr:portec:v:16:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10258-017-0128-y is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bezemer, Dirk & Grydaki, Maria, 2014. "Nonfinancial sectors debt and the U.S. great moderation," Research Report 14030-GEM, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    11. Bruce Q. Budd, 2016. "Structural break tests and the Greek sovereign debt crisis: revisited," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 40(3), pages 607-622, July.
    12. Bezemer, Dirk & Grydaki, Maria, 2013. "Debt and the U.S. Great Moderation," MPRA Paper 47399, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Amélie Charles & Olivier Darné & Laurent Ferrara, 2014. "Does the Great Recession imply the end of the Great Moderation? International evidence," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-21, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    14. Bezemer, Dirk J & Grydaki, Maria, 2012. "Mortgage Lending and the Great moderation: a multivariate GARCH Approach," MPRA Paper 36356, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Dimitrios Bakas & Georgios Chortareas & Georgios Magkonis, 2017. "Volatility and Growth: A not so straightforward relationship," Working Paper series 17-12, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    16. Ewing, Bradley T. & Thompson, Mark A., 2008. "Industrial production, volatility, and the supply chain," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 553-558, October.
    17. Lemoine, M. & Mougin, C., 2010. "The Growth-Volatility Relationship: New Evidence Based on Stochastic Volatility in Mean Models," Working papers 285, Banque de France.
    18. Maria Grydaki & Stilianos Fountas, 2010. "What Explains Output Volatility? Evidence from the G3," Discussion Paper Series 2010_09, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Jul 2010.
    19. Grydaki, Maria & Bezemer, Dirk J., 2012. "The Role of Credit in Great Moderation: a Multivariate GARCH Approach," MPRA Paper 39813, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Seip, Knut Lehre & McNown, Robert, 2015. "Does employees’ compensation vary with corporate profit?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 281-290.
    21. James Laurenceson & Danielle Rodgers, 2010. "The impact of volatility on growth in China," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer;Higher Education Press, vol. 5(4), pages 527-536, December.
    22. Ahmad Zubaidi Baharumshah & Siew-Voon Soon, 2014. "Inflation, inflation uncertainty and output growth: what does the data say for Malaysia?," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(3), pages 370-386, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General


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