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The Effect of Seasonal Adjustment on the Properties of Business Cycle Regimes

We study the impact of seasonal adjustment on the properties of business cycle expansion and recession regimes using analytical, simulation and empirical methods. Analytically, we show that the X-11 adjustment filter both reduces the magnitude of change at turning points and reduces the depth of recessions, with specific effects depending on the length of the recession. A simulation analysis using Markov switching models confirms these properties, with particularly undesirable effects in delaying the recognition of the end of a recession. However, seasonal adjustment can have desirable properties in clarifying the true regime when this is well underway. The empirical findings, based on four coincident US business cycle indicators, reinforce the analytical and simulation results by showing that seasonal adjustment leads to the identification of longer and shallower recessions than obtained using unadjusted data.

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Paper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti" in its series Econometrics Working Papers Archive with number wp2005_15.

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Length: 37
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming Journal of Applied Econometrics
Handle: RePEc:fir:econom:wp2005_15
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  1. S. Krane & W. Wascher, 1999. "The cyclical sensitivity of seasonality in US employment," BIS Working Papers 67, Bank for International Settlements.
  2. Matas-Mir, Antoni & Denise R Osborn, 2002. "Does Seasonality Change over the Business Cycle? An Investigation using Monthly Industrial Production Series," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 139, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Franses, Philip Hans & Paap, Richard, 1999. "Does Seasonality Influence the Dating of Business Cycle Turning Points?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 79-92, January.
  4. A Matas-Mir & D R Osborn, 2003. "Seasonal Adjustment and the Detection of Business Cycle Phases," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0304, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  5. Jeffrey A. Miron & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Seasonality, Cost Shocks and the Production Smoothing Model of Inventories," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 01-87, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. Canova, F. & Ghysels, E., 1992. "Changes in Seasonal Patters: Are They Cyclical," Cahiers de recherche 9216, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  7. Perron, P. & Ghysels, E., 1994. "The Effect of Linear Filters on Dynamic Time series with Structural Change," Cahiers de recherche 9425, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Todd, Richard M., 2002. "The conventional treatment of seasonality in business cycle analysis: does it create distortions?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 335-364, March.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521562607 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. M Sensier & D van Dijk, 2003. "Testing for Volatility Changes in US Macroeconomic Time Series," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 36, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  11. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Anil K Kashyap, 1995. "International Cycles," NBER Working Papers 5310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. D R Osborn & A Matas-Mir, 2003. "The Extent of Seasonal/Business Cycle Interactions in European Industrial Production," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 38, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  13. Burridge, Peter & Wallis, Kenneth F, 1984. "Unobserved-Components Models for Seasonal Adjustment Filters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 350-59, October.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521565882 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Bell, William R & Hillmer, Steven C, 1984. "Issues Involved with the Seasonal Adjustment of Economic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 291-320, October.
  16. Hamilton, James D., 1990. "Analysis of time series subject to changes in regime," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 39-70.
  17. Ghysels, E. & Perron, P., 1990. "The Effect Of Seasonal Adjustment Filters On Tests For A Unit Root," Papers 355, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  18. Bruce E. Hansen, 1995. "Approximate Asymptotic P-Values for Structural Change Tests," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 297., Boston College Department of Economics.
  19. Rob Luginbuhl & Aart de Vos, 2003. "Seasonality and Markov switching in an unobserved component time series model," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 365-386, 04.
  20. 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.
  21. Ghysels, Eric & Granger, Clive W J & Siklos, Pierre L, 1996. "Is Seasonal Adjustment a Linear or Nonlinear Data-Filtering Process?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 374-86, July.
  22. Robert B. Barsky & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1988. "The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. James Morley & Jeremy M. Piger, 2005. "The importance of nonlinearity in reproducing business cycle features," Working Papers 2004-032, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  24. Beatriz C. Galvao, Ana, 2002. "Can non-linear time series models generate US business cycle asymmetric shape?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 187-194, October.
  25. Findley, David F, et al, 1998. "New Capabilities and Methods of the X-12-ARIMA Seasonal-Adjustment Program," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(2), pages 127-52, April.
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