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Fluctuations in confidence and asymmetric business cycles

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  • Simon M. Potter

Abstract

There is now a great deal of empirical evidence that business cycle fluctuations contain asymmetries. The asymmetries found in post-war U.S. data are inconsistent with the behavior of the U.S. economy in the Great Depression. In a model where business cycle asymmetries are produced by rational fluctuations in the confidence of investors, I examine whether this inconsistency can be explained by differences in government policy. It is found that the 'ineptness' of government intervention during the Great Depression in reducing the confidence of investors rather than the success of post-war stabilization policy in raising confidence is the most likely explanation.

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  • Simon M. Potter, 1999. "Fluctuations in confidence and asymmetric business cycles," Staff Reports 66, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:66
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beaudry, Paul & Koop, Gary, 1993. "Do recessions permanently change output?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-163, April.
    2. Potter, Simon M, 1995. "A Nonlinear Approach to US GNP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 109-125, April-Jun.
    3. Lang, William W. & Nakamura, Leonard I., 1990. "The dynamics of credit markets in a model with learning," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 305-318, October.
    4. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
    5. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    6. 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 357-384, March.
    7. Lee, I.H. & Chalkley, M., 1994. "Asymmetric business cycles," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9411, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    8. Friedman, Milton, 1993. "The "Plucking Model" of Business Fluctuations Revisited," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 171-177, April.
    9. Nathan S. Balke & Mark A. Wynne, 1994. "The dynamics of recoveries," Working Papers 9406, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    10. Kim, Chang-Jin, 1994. "Dynamic linear models with Markov-switching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 1-22.
    11. Neftci, Salih N, 1984. "Are Economic Time Series Asymmetric over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 307-328, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eran Guse, 2004. "Expectational Business Cycles," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 97, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    2. M Sensier & D van Dijk, 2001. "Short-term Volatility Versus Long-term Growth: Evidence in US Macroeconomic Time Series," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0103, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    3. Karl Taylor & Robert McNabb, 2007. "Business Cycles and the Role of Confidence: Evidence for Europe," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(2), pages 185-208, April.
    4. Guse, Eran A., 2004. "Expectational business cycles," Research Discussion Papers 19/2004, Bank of Finland.
    5. Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn & Veldkamp, Laura, 2006. "Learning asymmetries in real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 753-772, May.
    6. Guse, Eran A., 2014. "Adaptive learning, endogenous uncertainty, and asymmetric dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 355-373.

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    Keywords

    Business cycles ; Depressions ; Monetary policy;

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