Are Business Cycles Symmetric?
This note shows that contrary to widespread belief there is little evidence that the business cycle is asymmetric. Using American data for the pre- and post-war periods and data on five other major OECD nations for the post-war period, we are unable to support the hypothesis that contractions are shorter and sharper than expansions. We conclude that there is not much basis for preferring some version of traditional cyclical techniques to more modern statistical methods.
|Date of creation:||Sep 1984|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as "Are Business Cycles Symmetrical?" From The American Business Cycle: Con-tinuity and Change, edited by Robert J. Gordon, pp. 166-178. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, (1986).|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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- Ray C. Fair, 1984.
"Excess Labor and the Business Cycle,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
692, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Robert J. Gordon, 1979.
"The "End-of-Expansion" Phenomenon in Short-Run Productivity Behavior,"
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,
Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(2), pages 447-462.
- Robert J. Gordon, 1980. "The "End-of-Expansion" Phenomenon in Short-run Productivity Behavior," NBER Working Papers 0427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wesley Clair Mitchell, 1927. "Business Cycles: The Problem and Its Setting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number mitc27-1.
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