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What is a recession?: A reprise

  • Allan Layton
  • Anirvan Banerji

This paper draws its title from a paper written over 35 years ago by Geoffrey H. Moore (1967). Why the need for a reprise? First, there would appear currently to be somewhat diverging views as to what properly constitutes a recession. Second, largely as a result of this, in many countries other than the US, there does not exist a single, widely accepted business cycle chronology for the country in question. This paper will argue that, in addition to output, there are other important aspects to aggregate economic activity that need to be taken into account in determining the business cycle, viz., income, sales and employment. As such, our perspective would seem to be at odds with the apparent position taken by some other recent commentators on this issue who argue that GDP is all that is needed to represent a country's business cycle. We will also argue against using the currently popular 'two negative quarterly growth rate' rule in dating the onset of a recession.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2003)
Issue (Month): 16 ()
Pages: 1789-1797

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:16:p:1789-1797
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  1. Don Harding & Adrian Pagan, 1999. "Dissecting the Cycle," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp1999n13, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  2. M Artis, 2002. "Dating the Business Cycle in Britain," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 17, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  3. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1988. "A Probability Model of The Coincident Economic Indicators," NBER Working Papers 2772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eduardo Salazar & Richard Smith & Martin Weale & Stephen Wright, 1997. "A Monthly Indicator of GDP," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 161(1), pages 84-89, July.
  5. repec:sae:niesru:v:161:y::i:1:p:84-89 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Adrian Pagan, 1997. "Towards an Understanding of Some Business Cycle Characteristics," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 30(1), pages 1-15.
  7. Theodore M. Crone, 2000. "A new look at economic indexes for the states in the Third District," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Nov, pages 3-14.
  8. 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, July.
  9. Allan P. Layton & Anirvan Banerji, 2001. "Dating the Indian Business Cycle: Is Output All That Counts?," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 231-240, January.
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