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On the (Mis)Specification of Seasonality and Its Consequences: An Empirical Investigation With U.S. Data

  • Ghysels, E.
  • Lee, H.S.
  • Siklos, P.L.

It is well known that mis-specification of a trend leads to spurious cycles in detrended data (see, e.g., Nelson and Kang (1981). Seasonal-adjustment procedures make assumptions, either implicitly or explicitly, about roots on the unit circle both at the zero and seasonal frequencies. Consequently, seasonal-adjustment procedures may produce spurious seasonal variation and other statistically undesirable effects. In this paper we document, for a large class of widely used U.S. quarterly macroeconomic series, the effects of competing seasonal-adjustment procedures on the univariate time-series properties of the adjusted series. We also investigate which procedures are most appropriate given the properties of the data. Overall, we find very significant differences and evidence that several U.S. macroeconomic time series contain a mixture of deterministic and stochastic seasonal components.

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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 9237.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 1992
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:9237
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  1. Bell, William R & Hillmer, Steven C, 1984. "Issues Involved with the Seasonal Adjustment of Economic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 291-320, October.
  2. Sims, Cristopher A, 1985. "Comment on "Issues Involved with the Seasonal Adjustment of Economic Time Series."," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(1), pages 92-94, January.
  3. 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.
  4. Hall, Alastair R, 1994. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series with Pretest Data-Based Model Selection," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(4), pages 461-70, October.
  5. Robert B. Barsky & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1988. "The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Canova, F. & Ghysels, E., 1992. "Changes in Seasonal Patters: Are They Cyclical," Cahiers de recherche 9216, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  7. Ramey, Valerie A, 1989. "Inventories as Factors of Production and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 338-54, June.
  8. Osborn, Denise R., 1990. "A survey of seasonality in UK macroeconomic variables," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 327-336, October.
  9. Engle, R. F. & Granger, C. W. J. & Hylleberg, S. & Lee, H. S., 1993. "The Japanese consumption function," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1-2), pages 275-298.
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