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European business cycles: new indices and analysis of their synchronicity

  • Michael J. Dueker
  • Katrin Wesche

This article presents a new type of business-cycle index that allows for cycle-to-cycle comparisons of the depth of recessions within a country, cross-country comparisons of business-cycle correlation and simple aggregation to arrive at a measure of a European business cycle. The paper examines probit-type specifications of binary recession/expansion variables in a Gibbs-sampling framework, wherein it is possible to incorporate time-series features to the model, such as serial correlation, heteroskedasticity and regime switching. The data-augmentation implied by Gibbs sampling generates posterior distributions for a latent coincident business-cycle index and extracts information from indicator variables, such as the slope of the yield curve. Sub-sample correlations between an aggregated ``Europe'' index and the national business-cycle indices from France, Germany, Italy are consistent with the claim that the European economies are becoming more harmonized over time, but there is no guarantee that this pattern will hold in the future.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 1999-019.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Publication status: Published in Economic Inquiry, January 2003, 41(1), pp. 116-31
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1999-019
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  1. Henri Bernard & Stefan Gerlach, 1996. "Does the term structure predict recessions? The international evidence," BIS Working Papers 37, Bank for International Settlements.
  2. Fiorito, Riccardo & Kollintzas, Tryphon, 1994. "Stylized facts of business cycles in the G7 from a real business cycles perspective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 235-269, February.
  3. Arturo Estrella & Anthony P. Rodrigues, 1998. "Consistent covariance matrix estimation in probit models with autocorrelated errors," Staff Reports 39, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1998. "Predicting U.S. Recessions: Financial Variables As Leading Indicators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 45-61, February.
  5. Michael J. Dueker, 1998. "Conditional heteroskedasticity in qualitative response models of time series: a Gibbs sampling approach to the bank prime rate," Working Papers 1998-011, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Michael J. Dueker, 1997. "Strengthening the case for the yield curve as a predictor of U.S. recessions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 41-51.
  7. Filardo, Andrew J, 1994. "Business-Cycle Phases and Their Transitional Dynamics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 299-308, July.
  8. Dale J. Poirier & Paul A. Ruud, 1988. "Probit with Dependent Observations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 593-614.
  9. Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1997. "National Policies and Local Economies: Europe and the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 1632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Piscitelli, Laura, 1999. "EMU in Reality: The Effect of a Common Monetary Policy on Economies with Different Transmission Mechanisms," CEPR Discussion Papers 2068, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  12. Chib, Siddhartha, 1996. "Calculating posterior distributions and modal estimates in Markov mixture models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 79-97, November.
  13. Hansen, Bruce E, 1992. "The Likelihood Ratio Test under Nonstandard Conditions: Testing the Markov Switching Model of GNP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages S61-82, Suppl. De.
  14. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, Wenda, 1999. "Further Evidence on the International Business Cycle and the ERM: Is There a European Business Cycle?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 120-32, January.
  15. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, W, 1997. "International Business Cycles and the ERM: Is There a European Business Cycle?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 2(1), pages 1-16, January.
  16. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
  17. Robin L. Lumsdaine & Eswar S. Prasad, 1997. "Identifying the Common Component in International Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Estrella, Arturo & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1997. "The predictive power of the term structure of interest rates in Europe and the United States: Implications for the European Central Bank," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1375-1401, July.
  19. Beaudry, Paul & Koop, Gary, 1993. "Do recessions permanently change output?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-163, April.
  20. Osterwald-Lenum, Michael, 1992. "A Note with Quantiles of the Asymptotic Distribution of the Maximum Likelihood Cointegration Rank Test Statistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 461-72, August.
  21. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  22. Eichengreen, Barry & Watson, Mark W & Grossman, Richard S, 1985. "Bank Rate Policy under the Interwar Gold Standard: A Dynamic Probit Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(379), pages 725-45, September.
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