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Knowing the Cycle

  • Don Harding

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Adrian Pagan

    (The Australian National Univeristy and The University of Melbourne)

Policy makers are primarily interested in fluctuations in the level of activity - the classical cycle. Academics have in recent times focused their efforts on studying fluctuations and co-movement in aggregate variables that have been rendered stationary after some appropriate transformation. That is academics focus on the growth cycle. One reason for this shift in focus was the impression among academics that Burns and Mitchell's work lacked the precision required in modern macroeconomics. In this paper we show that pattern recognition algorithms which emulate Burns and Mitchell's approach to the cycle can be constructed and used to collect precise information on the classical cycle. The information so marshaled comprises the duration, amplitude, and cumulative movements of output within business cycle phases. We show that this information can be used to assess a range of business cycle models that have been proposed in the literature.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp1999n12.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: May 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp1999n12
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. Pagan, Adrian, 1997. "Policy, Theory, and the Cycle," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 19-33, Autumn.
  2. Gordon, Stephen & St-Amour, Pascal, 1997. "Asset Prices with Contingent Preferences," Cahiers de recherche 9712, Université Laval - Département d'économique, revised 08 Jun 1998.
  3. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 1999. "Endogenous business cycles and the dynamics of output, hours, and consumption," Departmental Working Papers 199915, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Huang, K.X. & Liu, Z., 1999. "Staggered Contracts and Business Cycle Persistence," Papers 305, Minnesota - Center for Economic Research.
  5. Peter Temin, 1998. "Causes of American business cycles: an essay in economic historiography," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun), pages 37-64.
  6. Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 1997. "Contractual Fragility, Job Destruction, and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 873-911, August.
  7. Michael T. Kiley, 1999. "Partial adjustment and staggered price setting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Canova, Fabio, 1993. "Detrending and Business Cycle Facts," CEPR Discussion Papers 782, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  10. Daniel E. Sichel, 1992. "Inventories and the three phases of the business cycle," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 128, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I., 1994. "Real business cycles and the test of the Adelmans," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 405-438, April.
  12. Fisher, Lance A & Otto, Glenn & Voss, Graham M, 1996. "Australian Business Cycle Facts," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(67), pages 300-320, December.
  13. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1, May.
  14. Kim, Kunhong & Buckle, R A & Hall, V B, 1994. "Key Features of New Zealand Business Cycles," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 70(208), pages 56-73, March.
  15. Simkins, Scott P., 1994. "Do real business cycle models really exhibit business cycle behavior?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 381-404, April.
  16. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Methods and Problems in Business Cycle Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 696-715, November.
  17. Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Bart Turtelboom & Peter Isard & Eswar Prasad, 1998. "Multimod Mark III; The Core Dynamic and Steady State Model," IMF Occasional Papers 164, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Harding, Don, 1997. "The Definition, Dating and Duration of Cycles," MPRA Paper 3357, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Collard, Fabrice, 1998. "Spectral and persistence properties of cyclical growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 463-488, November.
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