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Output Fluctuations in the G-7: An Unobserved Components Approach


  • Tara Sinclair

    () (Department of Economics/Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)

  • Sinchan Mitra

    () (School of Economics, University of Queensland/ Discover Financial Services)


This paper contributes to the debate about the relative importance of permanent versus transitory disturbances as sources of variation in output across the G-7 countries. We employ a multivariate unobserved components model to simultaneously decompose the real GDP for each of the G-7 countries into their respective permanent and transitory components. In contrast to much of the related literature, our model allows for explicit interaction between the components both within and across series. This approach thus allows us to distinguish cross-country correlations driven by the relationships between permanent innovations from those between transitory movements. We find that fluctuations in output are primarily due to permanent movements for all of the G-7 countries. We also find that the correlation between the permanent and transitory innovations within each series is significantly negative. With regards to cross- country relationships, we find important idiosyncratic variation in the correlation across different country pairs.

Suggested Citation

  • Tara Sinclair & Sinchan Mitra, 2008. "Output Fluctuations in the G-7: An Unobserved Components Approach," Working Papers 2008-04, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2008-04

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    Cited by:

    1. Perron, Pierre & Wada, Tatsuma, 2016. "Measuring business cycles with structural breaks and outliers: Applications to international data," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 281-303.
    2. Berger, Tino & Everaert, Gerdie & Vierke, Hauke, 2016. "Testing for time variation in an unobserved components model for the U.S. economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 179-208.
    3. Alexander Yu. Apokin & Irina B. Ipatova, 2016. "Structural Breaks in Potential GDP Of Three Major Economies: Just Impaired Credit or the “New Normal”?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 142/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. James Morley & Irina B. Panovska & Tara M. Sinclair, 2013. "Testing Stationarity for Unobserved Components Models," Discussion Papers 2012-41A, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    5. James Morley & Irina B Panovska, 2016. "Is Business Cycle Asymmetry Intrinsic in Industrialized Economies?," Discussion Papers 2016-12, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    6. Mardi Dungey & Jan P.A.M. Jacobs & Jing Tian, 2017. "Forecasting output gaps in the G-7 countries: the role of correlated innovations and structural breaks," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(45), pages 4554-4566, September.
    7. Michael Fritsch & Alina Sorgner & Michael Wyrwich & Evguenii Zazdravnykh, 2016. "Historical Shocks and Persistence of Economic Activity: Evidence from a Unique Natural Experiment," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1607, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Apr 2016.
    8. Stephan, Gaëtan & Lecumberry, Julien, 2015. "The German unemployment since the Hartz reforms: Permanent or transitory fall?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 49-54.
    9. Gaëtan Stephan & Julien Lecumberry, 2015. "The German unemployment since the Hartz reforms: Permanent or transitory fall?," Post-Print halshs-01238494, HAL.
    10. MeiChi Huang & Tzu-Chien Wang, 2015. "Housing-bubble vulnerability and diversification opportunities during housing boom–bust cycles: evidence from decomposition of asset price returns," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 54(2), pages 605-637, March.

    More about this item


    Permanent-Transitory Decompositions; Business Cycles; Correlations; Real GDP;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries


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