IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Great Moderation and Great Recession. From plain sailing to stormy seas?


  • Ana gomez-Loscos
  • M. Dolores Gadea (Universidad de Zaragoza)
  • Gabriel Perez-Quiros (Bank of Spain)


Many have argued that the Great Recession of 2008 marks the end of the Great Moderation of the eighties and nineties. This paper shows this is not the case through painstaking empirical analysis of the data. Output volatility remains subdued despite the tumult created by the Great Recession. This finding has important implications for policymaking since a lower volatility of output (the hallmark of the Great Moderation) is associated with lower recoveries. We revisit the results obtained in the seminal paper of McConnell and Perez-Quiros (2000) with the updated sample so as to include the most recent developments associated with the GR. We find that the GM, as it was originally formulated, still holds. However, we want to test the robustness of this result. Firstly, we apply additional econometric techniques that allow the possibility of multiple structural breaks in the volatility of the series. Secondly, to test the validity of the results, we perform different experiments considering alternative economic scenarios for the future, extending the business cycle features of the GR several periods ahead, concocting the observations of the GR with those of the GM and even simulating processes of higher volatility. The global financial crisis of 2007 and the ensuing economic recession has prompted a debate on the possible end of the tranquil times of the GM. However, this paper presents evidence that the decrease in volatility associated with the GM seems to be quite a permanent phenomenon that holds in spite of the occurrence of further downturns in the characteristics of the GR or even of the fact that this may continue to extended horizons. The fact that the GR holds even though we have su ered a strong recession, and the fact that it would hold even if we have this pattern of recession-recovery for a long time, should make us reconsider the explanations roposed in the literature about the causes of the GM, especially those related to good policy or good luck.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana gomez-Loscos & M. Dolores Gadea (Universidad de Zaragoza) & Gabriel Perez-Quiros (Bank of Spain), 2015. "Great Moderation and Great Recession. From plain sailing to stormy seas?," EcoMod2015 8267, EcoMod.
  • Handle: RePEc:ekd:008007:8267

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Camacho, Maximo & Perez Quiros, Gabriel & Rodriguez Mendizabal, Hugo, 2011. "High-growth recoveries, inventories and the Great Moderation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1322-1339, August.
    2. Giorgio Fagiolo & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini, 2008. "Are output growth-rate distributions fat-tailed? some evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 639-669.
    3. John C. Williams & John B. Taylor, 2009. "A Black Swan in the Money Market," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 58-83, January.
    4. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and Micro Levels," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 155-180, Fall.
    5. Erica L. Groshen & Simon M. Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
    6. Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Explaining The Great Moderation: It Is Not The Shocks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 621-633, 04-05.
    7. Deng, Ai & Perron, Pierre, 2008. "The Limit Distribution Of The Cusum Of Squares Test Under General Mixing Conditions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 809-822, June.
    8. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Foreword to "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs"," NBER Chapters, in: Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs, pages -1, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Hansen, Bruce E, 1997. "Approximate Asymptotic P Values for Structural-Change Tests," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(1), pages 60-67, January.
    10. Andrews, Donald W K & Ploberger, Werner, 1994. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1383-1414, November.
    11. John W. Keating & Victor J. Valcarcel, 2012. "What's so Great about the Great Moderation? A Multi-Country Investigation of Time-Varying Volatilities of Output Growth and Inflation," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201204, University of Kansas, Department of Economics.
    12. Ashley Hodgson & Stacey L. Schreft & Aarti Singh, 2005. "Jobless recoveries and the wait-and-see hypothesis," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 90(Q IV), pages 81-99.
    13. 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, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Catherine Doz & Laurent Ferrara & Pierre-Alain Pionnier, 2020. "Business cycle dynamics after the Great Recession: An Extended Markov-Switching Dynamic Factor Model," Working Papers halshs-02443364, HAL.
    2. Pierre Perron & Yohei Yamamoto & Jing Zhou, 2020. "Testing jointly for structural changes in the error variance and coefficients of a linear regression model," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), pages 1019-1057, July.
    3. Perron, Pierre & Yamamoto, Yohei, 2019. "The Great Moderation: Updated Evidence with Joint Tests for Multiple Structural Changes in Variance and Persistence," Discussion paper series HIAS-E-90, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Erdenebat Bataa, 2019. "Growth and Inflation Regimes in Greater Tumen Initiative Area," The Northeast Asian Economic Review, ERINA - Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia, vol. 7(1), pages 15-29, November.

    More about this item


    the United States; Business cycles; Macroeconometric modeling;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ekd:008007:8267. 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: (Theresa Leary). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.