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Germany and the European Business Cycle - An Analysis of Causal Relations in an International Real Business Cycle Model

  • Ferdinand Fichtner


This paper studies the role of the German economy for the existence of the so called European business cycle, a term referring to the regularly observed synchronization of the national business cycles in Europe. Using a three-country general equilibrium model, we are able to simulate impulse response functions mimicking the important features observed in the data. Focusing on the importance of shocks affecting the German GDP we show that trade-related transmission from Germany to the other European economies is only of minor importance for the synchronization of national business cycles. On the contrary, our findings suggest that the influence of common shocks and of technology spillovers accounts for most of the parallels in economic performance.

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Paper provided by Institute for Economic Policy, Cologne, Germany in its series IWP Discussion Paper Series with number 01/2003.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: May 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kln:iwpdip:dp01/03
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  1. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1992. "International Evidence on the Historical Properties of Business Cycles," Working Papers 92-5, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  2. Artis, Michael J & Krolzig, Hans-Martin & Toro, Juan, 1999. "The European Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 2242, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1991. "International real business cycles," Staff Report 146, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, Wenda, 1995. "International Business Cycles and the ERM: Is there a European Business Cycle?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1191, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  8. Nelson, Charles R & Kang, Heejoon, 1979. "Spurious Periodicity in Inappropriately Detrended Time Series," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 161, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1927. "Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mitc27-1, December.
  10. Lucas, Robert E., 1977. "Understanding business cycles," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 7-29, January.
  11. Robert Inklaar & Jakob de Haan, 2000. "Is there Really a European Business Cycle?," CESifo Working Paper Series 268, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Baxter, Marianne & Crucini, Mario J, 1995. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(4), pages 821-54, November.
  13. J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Introduction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 249-254, November.
  14. Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1994. "The computational experiment: an econometric tool," Working Paper 9420, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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  16. Cantor, Richard & Mark, Nelson C, 1988. "The International Transmission of Real Business Cycles," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(3), pages 493-507, August.
  17. Canova, Fabio & Marrinan, Jane, 1998. "Sources and propagation of international output cycles: Common shocks or transmission?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 133-166, October.
  18. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  19. Anderson, H.M. & Kwark, N.-S. & Vahid, F., 1999. "Does International Trade Synchronize Business Cycles?," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 8/99, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  20. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Real Business Cycles: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 2882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Gregory, Allan W & Head, Allen C & Raynauld, Jacques, 1997. "Measuring World Business Cycles," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(3), pages 677-701, August.
  22. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1992. "Recursive methods for computing equilibria of business cycle models," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 36, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  23. Dellas, Harris, 1986. "A real model of the world business cycle," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 381-394, September.
  24. Douglas Laxton & Eswar Prasad, 2000. "International Spillovers of Macroeconomic Shocks: A Quantitative Exploration," IMF Working Papers 00/101, International Monetary Fund.
  25. Robin L. Lumsdaine & Eswar S. Prasad, 1997. "Identifying the Common Component in International Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Mills, Terence C & Holmes, Mark J, 1999. "Common Trends and Cycles in European Industrial Production: Exchange Rate Regimes and Economic Convergence," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(4), pages 557-87, September.
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