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A New Monthly Index of Industrial Production, 1884-1940

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  • Christina Romer
  • Jeffrey A. Miron

Abstract

The paper derives a new monthly index of industrial production for the United States for 1884-1940. This index improves upon existing measures of industrial production by excluding indirect proxies of industrial activity, by only using component series that are consistent over time, and by not making ad hoc adjustments to the data. Analysis of the new index shows that it has more within-year volatility than conventional indexes, has relatively unimportant seasonal fluctuations, and has cyclical turning points that are grossly similar to but subtly different from existing series.

Suggested Citation

  • Christina Romer & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1989. "A New Monthly Index of Industrial Production, 1884-1940," NBER Working Papers 3172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3172 Note: EFG ME
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    1. Romer, Christina, 1986. "Spurious Volatility in Historical Unemployment Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 1-37, February.
    2. Victor Zarnowitz, 1987. "The Regularity of Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gorton, Gary, 1988. "Banking Panics and Business Cycles," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 751-781, December.
    4. Dominguez, Kathryn M & Fair, Ray C & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1988. "Forecasting the Depression: Harvard versus Yale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 595-612, September.
    5. Schwert, G William, 1989. " Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change over Time?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1115-1153, December.
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