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Economic Cycles: Asymmetries, Persistence, and Synchronization

In: Palgrave Handbook of Econometrics


  • Joe Cardinale
  • Larry W. Taylor


Marking upswings and downswings for a time series {y t } provides insights that are not immediately obvious, but may be meaningful to academics, policy makers, and the general public. The mean and standard deviation of durations, as well as the amplitude and steepness of a given phase, yield fruitful insights about cycle asymmetries and persistence. Expansions and contractions in one series can then be compared to those in another to determine whether their respective cycles are synchronized. However, our primary focus here is on classical nonparametric methods for the analysis of duration, dating back to the seminal work of Burns and Mitchell (1946), Cutler and Ederer (1958), Bry and Boschan (1971), and Cox (1972). Although our specific application is to unemployment cycles, the ideas and techniques discussed in this chapter apply to a wide variety of micro- and macroeconometric studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Joe Cardinale & Larry W. Taylor, 2009. "Economic Cycles: Asymmetries, Persistence, and Synchronization," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Terence C. Mills & Kerry Patterson (ed.), Palgrave Handbook of Econometrics, chapter 7, pages 308-348, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:palchp:978-0-230-24440-5_7
    DOI: 10.1057/9780230244405_7

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