IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The duration of business cycle expansions and contractions: are there change-points in duration dependence?


  • Vitor Castro



The business cycles literature shows that the likelihood of an expansion or contraction ending increases with its age, i.e. they exhibit positive duration dependence. This evidence rests on the assumption that the magnitude of duration dependence is the same over time. However, we assume that the degree of likeliness of an expansion or contraction ending as it gets older might indeed change after a specific duration. Estimating a continuous-time Weibull model for a group of 13 industrial countries over the period 1948–2009 and allowing for the presence of a change-point in the duration-dependence parameter; we conclude that the evidence of positive duration dependence is no longer present when an expansion surpasses 10 years of duration. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Vitor Castro, 2013. "The duration of business cycle expansions and contractions: are there change-points in duration dependence?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 511-544, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:44:y:2013:i:2:p:511-544 DOI: 10.1007/s00181-011-0544-2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Castro, Vítor, 2010. "The duration of economic expansions and recessions: More than duration dependence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 347-365, March.
    2. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    3. Sichel, Daniel E, 1991. "Business Cycle Duration Dependence: A Parametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 254-260, May.
    4. Layton, Allan P. & Smith, Daniel R., 2007. "Business cycle dynamics with duration dependence and leading indicators," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 855-875, December.
    5. Alexander Perruchoud, 2008. "Analyzing the Swiss Business Cycle," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 54(4), pages 255-292.
    6. Donald W. K. Andrews, 2003. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point: A Corrigendum," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 395-397, January.
    7. Abderrezak, Ali, 1998. "On the Duration of Growth Cycles: An International Study," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 343-355.
    8. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-856, July.
    9. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Foreword to "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs"," NBER Chapters,in: Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs, pages -1 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-384, March.
    11. Durland, J Michael & McCurdy, Thomas H, 1994. "Duration-Dependent Transitions in a Markov Model of U.S. GNP Growth," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 279-288, July.
    12. Jushan Bai, 1997. "Estimation Of A Change Point In Multiple Regression Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 551-563, November.
    13. Roberto G. Gutierrez & Shana Carter & David M. Drukker, 2001. "On boundary-value likelihood-ratio tests," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(60).
    14. Pok-sang Lam, 2004. "A Markov-Switching Model Of Gnp Growth With Duration Dependence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 175-204, February.
    15. Zuehlke, Thomas W, 2003. "Business Cycle Duration Dependence Reconsidered," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(4), pages 564-569, October.
    16. Jonathan Ohn & Larry W. Taylor & Adrian Pagan, 2004. "Testing for duration dependence in economic cycles," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(2), pages 528-549, December.
    17. Iiboshi, Hirokuni, 2007. "Duration dependence of the business cycle in Japan: A Bayesian analysis of extended Markov switching model," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 86-111, January.
    18. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn Rudebusch & Daniel Sichel, 1993. "Further Evidence on Business-Cycle Duration Dependence," NBER Chapters,in: Business Cycles, Indicators and Forecasting, pages 255-284 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Diebold, Francis X & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1990. "A Nonparametric Investigation of Duration Dependence in the American Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 596-616, June.
    20. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1998. "Business Cycle Turning Points, A New Coincident Index, And Tests Of Duration Dependence Based On A Dynamic Factor Model With Regime Switching," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 188-201, May.
    21. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch & Daniel E. Sichel, 1990. "International evidence on business cycle duration dependence," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 31, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    22. Nicholas Di Venuto & Allan Layton, 2005. "Do The Phases Of The Business Cycle Die Of Old Age?," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 290-305, September.
    23. Davig Troy, 2007. "Change-Points in U.S. Business Cycle Durations," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-23, May.
    24. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1, January.
    25. Haigang Zhou & Steven Rigdon, 2008. "Duration dependence in US business cycles: An analysis using the modulated power law process," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 32(1), pages 25-34, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Briefer economic cycles
      by Salil Mehta in Statistical Ideas on 2014-03-04 07:34:00


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Luca Agnello & Vítor Castro & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2012. "Are there change-points in the likelihood of a fiscal consolidation ending?," NIPE Working Papers 18/2012, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    2. Agnello, Luca & Castro, Vitor & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2013. "What determines the duration of a fiscal consolidation program?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 113-134.
    3. Castroa, Vitor & Kubota, Megumi, 2013. "Duration dependence and change-points in the likelihood of credit booms ending," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6475, The World Bank.
    4. Etoundi Atenga, Eric Martial, 2017. "On the Determinants of output Co-movements in the CEMAC Zone:Examining the Role of Trade, Policy Channel, Economic Structure and Common Factors," MPRA Paper 82091, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Business cycles; Expansions; Contractions; Duration dependence; C41; E32;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:44:y:2013:i:2:p:511-544. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.