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Growth beyond imbalances. Sustainable growth rates and output gap reassessment

Author

Listed:
  • Enrique Alberola

    (Banco de España)

  • Ángel Estrada

    () (Banco de España)

  • Daniel Santabárbara

    (Banco de España)

Abstract

‘The Great Recession’ was preceded by a prolonged period of high growth accompanied by low and stable inflation, the so called ‘Great Moderation’. During that period, potential growth estimates were trending upwards and output gaps remained small. However, other imbalances were progressively accumulating, eventually bringing about the worst crisis in decades. Standard potential growth estimates, which consider inflation as the only indicator of macroeconomic imbalances, along with the stability of inflation in that period, therefore provided misleading signals to policymakers. This paper introduces a methodology to obtain sustainable growth rates, as an alternative measure to potential growth. Sustainable growth is defined as the output growth that does not generate or widen macroeconomic imbalances, identified through a wide set of domestic and external indicators. This allow us to reassess the behavior of output gaps in the US, the UK, Spain, Germany and China both in ‘the Great Moderation’ period and during ‘the Great Recession’. In countries with large imbalances, sustainable growth rates are more stable than potential growth resulting in output gaps that were substantially larger in the period prior to the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrique Alberola & Ángel Estrada & Daniel Santabárbara, 2013. "Growth beyond imbalances. Sustainable growth rates and output gap reassessment," Working Papers 1313, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:1313
    as

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    File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/13/Fich/dt1313e.pdf
    File Function: First version, October 2013
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Francesca D'Auria & Cécile Denis & Karel Havik & Kieran Mc Morrow & Christophe Planas & Rafal Raciborski & Werner Roger & Alessandro Rossi, 2010. "The production function methodology for calculating potential growth rates and output gaps," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 420, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    2. repec:oup:oxecpp:v:69:y:2017:i:3:p:655-677. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Claudio BorioBy & Piti Disyatat & Mikael Juselius, 2017. "Rethinking potential output: embedding information about the financial cycle," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 655-677.
    4. Jeffrey A. Frankel & George Saravelos, 2010. "Are Leading Indicators of Financial Crises Useful for Assessing Country Vulnerability? Evidence from the 2008-09 Global Crisis," NBER Working Papers 16047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Niek Nahuis, 2003. "An alternative demand indicator: the 'non-accelerating inflation rate of capacity utilization'," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(11), pages 1339-1344.
    7. Claude Giorno & Pete Richardson & Deborah Roseveare & Paul van den Noord, 1995. "Estimating Potential Output, Output Gaps and Structural Budget Balances," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 152, OECD Publishing.
    8. Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat, 2011. "Global imbalances and the financial crisis: Link or no link?," BIS Working Papers 346, Bank for International Settlements.
    9. Clark, Peter K., 1989. "Trend reversion in real output and unemployment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 15-32, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ali Alichi, 2015. "A New Methodology for Estimating the Output Gap in the United States," IMF Working Papers 15/144, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Enrique Alberola & Ángel Estrada & Daniel Santabárbara, 2014. "Growth and imbalances in Spain: a reassessment of the output gap," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 333-356, August.
    3. Łukasz Rawdanowicz & Romain Bouis & Kei-Ichiro Inaba & Ane Kathrine Christensen, 2014. "Secular Stagnation: Evidence and Implications for Economic Policy," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1169, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainable growth; macroeconomic imbalances; output gaps; potential growth;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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