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Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations

  • Robert G. King
  • Charles I. Plosser
  • James H. Stock
  • Mark W. Watson

Recent developments in macroeconomic theory emphasize that transient economic fluctuations can arise as responses to changes in long run factors -- in particular, technological improvements -- rather than short run factors. This contrasts with the view that short run fluctuations and shifts in long run trends are largely unrelated. We examine empirically the effect of shifts in stochastic trends that are common to several macroeconomic series. Using a linear time series model related to a VAR, we consider first a system with GNP, consumption and investment with a single common stochastic trend; we then examine this system augmented by money and prices and an additional stochastic trend. Our results suggest that movements in the "real" stochastic trend account for one-half to two-thirds of the variation in postwar U.S. GNP.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2229.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2229.

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Date of creation: Apr 1987
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Publication status: published as The American Economic Review, Vol. 81 No. 4, pp. 819-840, (September 1991).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2229
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  1. 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.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Mark W. Watson, 1986. "Are Business Cycles All Alike?," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 123-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 454, October.
  4. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  5. Harvey, A C, 1985. "Trends and Cycles in Macroeconomic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 216-27, June.
  6. Brock, William A. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1972. "Optimal economic growth and uncertainty: The discounted case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 479-513, June.
  7. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1987. "Interpreting Evidence on Money-Income Causality," NBER Working Papers 2228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Perron, P., 1986. "Tests of Joint Hypotheses for Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Cahiers de recherche 8632, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  9. King, Robert G & Plosser, Charles I, 1984. "Money, Credit, and Prices in a Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 363-80, June.
  10. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Watson, Mark W. & Engle, Robert F., 1983. "Alternative algorithms for the estimation of dynamic factor, mimic and varying coefficient regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 385-400, December.
  13. Runkle, David E, 1987. "Vector Autoregressions and Reality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 5(4), pages 437-42, October.
  14. Martin Eichenbaum & Kenneth I. Singleton, 1986. "Do Equilibrium Real Business Cycle Theories Explain Postwar U.S. Business Cycles?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 91-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. David E. Runkle, 1987. "Vector autoregressions and reality," Staff Report 107, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Phelps, Edmund S & Taylor, John B, 1977. "Stabilizing Powers of Monetary Policy under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 163-90, February.
  17. Watson, Mark W., 1986. "Univariate detrending methods with stochastic trends," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 49-75, July.
  18. Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
  19. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
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