Have postwar economic fluctuations been stabilized?
Previous investigations of whether the volatility of the U.S. economy diminished after World War II have been inconclusive because of questionable prewar macroeconomic aggregates. We examine, more broadly, the hypothesis of the stabilization of the postwar economy by focusing on the duration of business cycles, rather than their amplitude; in the process, we avoid the debate about the quality of prewar aggregates. Using distribution-free statistics, we find clear evidence of postwar duration stabilization in terms of a shift toward longer expansions and shorter contractions. Moreover, we find no shift in whole-cycle durations, which suggests a reallocation of the business cycle away from contraction and toward expansion.
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- Robert J. Gordon, 1980.
"Postwar Macroeconomics: The Evolution of Events and Ideas,"
NBER Working Papers
0459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert J. Gordon & Arthur M. Okun & Herbert Stein, 1980. "Postwar Macroeconomics: The Evolution of Events and Ideas," NBER Chapters, in: The American Economy in Transition, pages 101-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986.
"The Changing Cyclical Variability of Economic Activity in the United States,"
in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 679-734
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "The Changing Cyclical Variability of Economic Activity in the United States," NBER Working Papers 1450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Meyer, Bruce D, 1990.
"Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells,"
Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-82, July.
- Diebold, Francis X & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1990.
"A Nonparametric Investigation of Duration Dependence in the American Business Cycle,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 596-616, June.
- Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1988. "A nonparametric investigation of duration dependence in the American business cycle," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 90, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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