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The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identification and Some Theoretical Bounds

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  • Danny Quah

Abstract

Much macroeconometric discussion has recently emphasized the economic significance of the size of the permanent component in GNP. Consequently, a large literature has developed that tries to estimate this magnitude measured, essentially, as the spectral density of increments in GNP at frequency zero. This paper shows that unless the permanent component is a random walk this attention has been misplaced: in general, that quantity does not identify the magnitude of the permanent component. Further, by developing bounds on reasonable measures of this magnitude, the paper shows that a random walk specification is biased towards establishing the permanent component as important.
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  • Danny Quah, 1988. "The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identification and Some Theoretical Bounds," Working papers 498, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:498
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    1. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-673, September.
    2. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
    3. Matthew Shapiro & Mark Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycles Fluctuations," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 111-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1990. "Unit roots in real GNP: Do we know, and do we care?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 7-61, January.
    5. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1987. "Are Output Fluctuations Transitory?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 857-880.
    6. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
    7. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
    8. Quah, Danny, 1990. "Permanent and Transitory Movements in Labor Income: An Explanation for "Excess Smoothness" in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 449-475, June.
    9. Clark, Peter K., 1988. "Nearly redundant parameters and measures of persistence in economic time series," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 447-461.
    10. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1993. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 644-652, June.
    11. Beveridge, Stephen & Nelson, Charles R., 1981. "A new approach to decomposition of economic time series into permanent and transitory components with particular attention to measurement of the `business cycle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-174.
    12. Diebold, Francis X. & Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1989. "Long memory and persistence in aggregate output," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 189-209, September.
    13. West, Kenneth D, 1988. "On the Interpretation of Near Random-walk Behavior in GNP," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 202-209, March.
    14. Watson, Mark W., 1986. "Univariate detrending methods with stochastic trends," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 49-75, July.
    15. Townsend, Robert M, 1983. "Forecasting the Forecasts of Others," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 546-588, August.
    16. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
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