A new monthly chronology of the US industrial cycles in the prewar economy
This article extends earlier efforts at redating the US industrial cycles for the prewar period (1890-1938) using the methodologies proposed by Bry and Boschan (1971) and Hamilton (1989) and based on the monthly industrial production index constructed by Miron and Romer (1990). The alternative chronology detects 90% of the peaks and troughs identified by the NBER and Romer (1994), but the new dates are consistently dated earlier for more than 50% of them, especially as regards the NBER troughs. The new dates affect the comparison of the average duration of recessions and expansions in both pre- WWI and interwar eras. Whereas the NBER reference dates show an increase in average duration of the expansions between the pre-WWI and interwar periods, the new dates show evidence of shortened length of expansions. However, the new dates confirm the traditional finding that the length of contractions increases between the both eras.
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