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Output volatility in Australia


  • Philip Bodman


A number of papers have documented a significant decline in real GDP volatility in several major OECD economies. Some authors have presented evidence to suggest that this is the outcome of a one-off structural break from a high to low volatility state whilst others have estimated regime switching models that indicate low volatility regime states have dominated in recent years. This article provides further evidence on the general properties of output volatility for Australia, including evidence of a significant moderation in output volatility for the country that occurred in the early 1980s. Estimates of various GARCH models of real GDP growth are also provided to further examine shorter term volatility features of the Australian economy that are associated with its business-cycle. A regime shift dummy is maintained in all models of the conditional variance in order to account for the regime shift in volatility and evidence is found of significant business-cycle effects, including leverage effects and asymmetries that suggest recessions are times of higher output volatility than economic expansions. Overall, it is concluded that the so-called 'Great Moderation' in macroeconomic instability, as documented here for Australia, is a result of a myriad of economic, institutional and policymaking changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Bodman, 2009. "Output volatility in Australia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(24), pages 3117-3129.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:24:p:3117-3129
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840701367622

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1993. "Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing, and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investment in Bullocks in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 223-244, April.
    2. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
    3. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Binswanger, Hans P, 1993. "Wealth, Weather Risk and the Composition and Profitability of Agricultural Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 56-78, January.
    4. Evan Tanner, 1997. "Shifts in US savings: long-run asset accumulation versus consumption smoothing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(8), pages 989-999.
    5. Chris Elbers & Jan Willem Gunning, 2002. "Growth Regression and Economic Theory," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-034/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Pushkar Maitra, 2001. "Is consumption smooth at the cost of volatile leisure? An investigation of rural India," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(6), pages 727-734.
    7. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 2003. "Macroeconomic Priorities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 1-14, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Kin-Yip Ho & Albert K. Tsui & Zhaoyong Zhang, 2013. "Conditional Volatility Asymmetry Of Business Cycles: Evidence From Four Oecd Countries," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 38(3), pages 33-56, September.
    3. repec:spr:portec:v:16:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10258-017-0128-y is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bassanini, Andrea & Garnero, Andrea, 2013. "Dismissal protection and worker flows in OECD countries: Evidence from cross-country/cross-industry data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 25-41.
    5. Sandra Bilek-Steindl, 2012. "On the Change in the Austrian Business Cycle," OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2012(1), pages 1-18.

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