IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Will Stability Last?

  • William Martin
  • Robert Rowthorn
Registered author(s):

    There is no consensus about the causes of the reduction in business cycle volatility seen in many major economies over the last decade. Using stylised models of the economies of the US, Euro area, UK and Japan, we argue that economic stability has been fostered by improved monetary policy and by associated changes in the behaviour of inflation, which has itself led to a reduction in the volatility of economic shocks. Assuming an absence of cataclysmic events, our projections suggest that most major economies should continue to enjoy an unusual degree of stability.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1324.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1324
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich

    Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
    Fax: +49 (89) 985369
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Alexandre Debs, 2001. "Testing for a Structural Break in the Volatility of Real GDP Growth in Canada," Staff Working Papers 01-9, Bank of Canada.
    2. Bergman, U. Michael & Bordo, Michael D. & Jonung, Lars, 1998. "Historical Evidence on Business Cycles: The International Experience," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 255, Stockholm School of Economics.
    3. Laurence Ball, 1997. "Efficient Rules for Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2003. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," NBER Working Papers 9459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rudebusch, G.D. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Papers 637, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    7. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    8. Nicoletta Batini & Edward Nelson, 2001. "The Lag from Monetary Policy Actions to Inflation: Friedman Revisited," Discussion Papers 06, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
    9. Jean Imbs, 2004. "Trade, Finance, Specialization, and Synchronization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 723-734, August.
    10. van Dijk, D.J.C. & Osborn, D.R. & Sensier, M., 2002. "Changes in variability of the business cycle in the G7 countries," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2002-28, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    11. Christina D. Romer, 1999. "Changes in Business Cycles: Evidence and Explanations," NBER Working Papers 6948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Timothy Cogley & Thomas Sargent, . "Drifts and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII US," Working Papers 2133503, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
    13. Andrew Levin & Jeremy Piger, 2003. "Is Inflation Persistence Intrinsic in Industrial Economies?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 298, Society for Computational Economics.
    14. Lars E O Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Bank of England working papers 56, Bank of England.
    15. Karras, Georgios & Song, Frank, 1996. "Sources of business-cycle volatility: An exploratory study on a sample of OECD countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 621-637.
    16. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," Working Paper Series 2003-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    17. Thomas Dalsgaard & Jørgen Elmeskov & Cyn-Young Park, 2002. "Ongoing Changes in the Business Cycle – Evidence and Causes," Chapters in SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.
    18. Nelson, Edward & Nikolov, Kalin, 2004. "Monetary Policy and Stagflation in the UK," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 293-318, June.
    19. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2003. "Why Has the U.S. Economy Become Less Correlated with the Rest of the World?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 63-69, May.
    20. Batini, Nicoletta, 2002. "Euro area inflation persistence," Working Paper Series 0201, European Central Bank.
    21. Erceg, Christopher J. & Levin, Andrew T., 2003. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 915-944, May.
    22. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson & Jeremy M. Piger, 2001. "The less volatile U.S. economy: a Bayesian investigation of timing, breadth, and potential explanations," International Finance Discussion Papers 707, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    23. Pivetta, Frederic & Reis, Ricardo, 2007. "The persistence of inflation in the United States," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1326-1358, April.
    24. George A. Akerlof & William T. Dickens & George L. Perry, 2000. "Near-Rational Wage and Price Setting and the Long-Run Phillips Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 1-60.
    25. Brian M. Doyle & Jon Faust, 2003. "Breaks in the variability and co-movement of G-7 economic growth," International Finance Discussion Papers 786, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    26. John Simon, 2001. "The Decline in Australian Output Volatility," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2001-01, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    27. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    28. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2002. "Financial Globalization and Real Regionalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3268, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    29. Ayhan Kose, M. & Otrok, Christopher & Whiteman, Charles H., 2008. "Understanding the evolution of world business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 110-130, May.
    30. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 1999. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility? An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
    32. Nigel Pain, 1996. "Continental Drift: European Integration and the Location of UK Foreign Direct Investment," NIESR Discussion Papers 107, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    33. Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 1999. "The automatic fiscal stabilizers: quietly doing their thing," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-64, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    34. Marco Terrones & Eswar S Prasad & Ayhan Kose, 2003. "Financial Integration and Macroeconomic Volatility," IMF Working Papers 03/50, International Monetary Fund.
    35. Smith Penelope & Summers Peter M, 2009. "Regime Switches in GDP Growth and Volatility: Some International Evidence and Implications for Modeling Business Cycles," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-19, September.
    36. Koichiro Kamada & Ichiro Muto, 2000. "Forward-looking Models and Monetary Policy in Japan," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series Research and Statistics D, Bank of Japan.
    37. Buch, Claudia M. & Doepke, Joerg & Pierdzioch, Christian, 2002. "Business Cycle Volatility in Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1129, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    38. Günter Coenen & Volker Wieland, 2002. "Inflation Dynamics and International Linkages: A Model of the United States, the Euro Area and Japan," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 240, Society for Computational Economics.
    39. Buch, Claudia M. & Doepke, Joerg & Pierdzioch, Christian, 2005. "Financial openness and business cycle volatility," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 744-765, September.
    40. Gerdesmeier, Dieter & Roffia, Barbara, 2003. "Empirical estimates of reaction functions for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0206, European Central Bank.
    41. Chauvet, Marcelle & Potter, Simon, 2001. "Recent Changes in the US Business Cycle," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(5), pages 481-508, Special I.
    42. Bean, Charles, 1998. "The New UK Monetary Arrangements: A View from the Literature," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1795-1809, November.
    43. Assaf Razin & Andrew Rose, 1992. "Business Cycle Volatility and Openness: An Exploratory Cross-Section Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    44. Fatás, Antonio & Mihov, Ilian, 1999. "Government Size and Automatic Stabilizers: International and Intranational Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2259, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    45. M. Ayhan Kose & Kei-Mu Yi, 2002. "The trade comovement problem in international macroeconomics," Staff Reports 155, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    46. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Understanding Changes in International Business Cycle Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 9859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    47. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
    48. Romer, Christina, 1986. "New Estimates of Prewar Gross National Product and Unemployment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 341-352, June.
    49. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2002. "Do We Really Know that Oil Caused the Great Stagflation? A Monetary Alternative," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 137-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    50. Charles Bean, 2003. "Asset Prices, Financial Imbalances and Monetary Policy: Are Inflation Targets Enough?," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Anthony Richards & Tim Robinson (ed.), Asset Prices and Monetary Policy Reserve Bank of Australia.
    51. Jonathan McCarthy & Egon Zakrajsek, 2002. "Inventory dynamics and business cycles: what has changed?," Staff Reports 156, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    52. Alan Auerbach, 2002. "Is There a Role for Discretionary Fiscal Policy?," NBER Working Papers 9306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    53. Ana Maria Herrero & Elena Pesavento, 2003. "The Decline in U.S. Output Volatility: Structural Changes and Inventory Investment," Emory Economics 0301, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    54. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    55. Veronica C. Warnock & Francis E. Warnock, 2000. "The declining volatility of U.S. employment: was Arthur Burns right?," International Finance Discussion Papers 677, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    56. Luca Benati, 2008. "Investigating Inflation Persistence Across Monetary Regimes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1005-1060.
    57. Ormerod, Paul, 2002. "The US business cycle: power law scaling for interacting units with complex internal structure," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 314(1), pages 774-785.
    58. Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
    59. Edward Nelson, 2004. "The Great Inflation of the seventies: what really happened?," Working Papers 2004-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    60. Annabelle Mourougane & Hideyuki Ibaragi, 2004. "Is There a Change in the Trade-Off Between Output and Inflation at Low or Stable Inflation Rates?: Some Evidence in the Case of Japan," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 379, OECD Publishing.
    61. Margaret M. McConnell & Patricia C. Mosser & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1999. "A decomposition of the increased stability of GDP growth," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Aug).
    62. Michael D. Bordo & Thomas Helbling, 2003. "Have National Business Cycles Become More Synchronized?," NBER Working Papers 10130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    63. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1324. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.