IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Economics of Seasonal Cycles

  • Jeffrey A. Miron

Since macroeconomists first began the systematic study of aggregate data, they have grappled with the fact that most economic time series exhibit substantial seasonal variation. In general, macroeconomists abstract from this seasonal variation, both in their models of cyclical behavior and in their empirical testing of these models. This standard practice is a useful simplification if two key conditions hold. The first is that there are no interactions between seasonal cycles and business cycles: they result from different exogenous factors and different economic propagation mechanisms. The second is that there are no important welfare issues attached to seasonal fluctuations per se: optimal government policy toward seasonals is simply to leave them alone. The purpose of this essay is twofold. It first summarizes recent work demonstrating that seasonal cycles and business cycles are intimately related, displaying similar stylized facts and being driven by similar economic propogation mechanisms. The essay then discusses the possible welfare implications of seasonal cycles, suggesting there is no reasonable presumption they are uninteresting from a welfare or policy perspective. Taken together, these results imply the need for a significant re-orientation in economists' treatment of seasonal fluctuations. Rather than a component of the data to be adjusted away and treated as noise, seasonal fluctuations represent a key topic of economic analysis. They contain significant information about the nature of business cycles, and they require analysis in their own right because they may induce significant welfare losses.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3522.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3522.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Dec 1990
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as With J. Joseph Beaulieu, published as "What Have Macroeconomists Learned About Business Cycles from the Study of Seasonal Cycles?", Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 78, no. 1 (February 1996): 54-66.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3522
Note: EFG
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. R. Anton Braun & Charles L. Evans, 1991. "Seasonality and equilibrium business cycle theories," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Davidson, James E H, et al, 1978. "Econometric Modelling of the Aggregate Time-Series Relationship between Consumers' Expenditure and Income in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(352), pages 661-92, December.
  4. Mankiw, N Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 211-28, May.
  5. Topel, Robert H, 1984. "Experience Rating of Unemployment Insurance and the Incidence of Unemployment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 61-90, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Shleifer, Andrei, 1986. "Implementation Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1163-90, December.
  8. Eichenbaum, Martin, 1989. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Production Level and Production Cost Smoothing Models of Inventory Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 853-64, September.
  9. Ghysels, E., 1990. "The Business Cycle, the Seasonal Cycle Or Just Any Cycle," Cahiers de recherche 9036, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  10. Hyllerberg, S. & Engle, R.F. & Granger, C.W.J. & Yoo, B.S., 1988. "Seasonal Integration And Cointegration," Papers 0-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  11. Feldstein, Martin S, 1978. "The Effect of Unemployment Insurance on Temporary Layoff Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(5), pages 834-46, December.
  12. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  13. Osborn, Denise R & Smith, Jeremy P, 1989. "The Performance of Periodic Autoregressive Models in Forecasting Seasonal U. K. Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(1), pages 117-27, January.
  14. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A., 1991. "Should the fed smooth interest rates? the case of seasonal monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 41-69, January.
  15. Ghysels, E., 1986. "A Study Towards a Dynamic Theory of Seasonality for Economic Time Series," Cahiers de recherche 8612, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  16. Simon Kuznets, 1933. "Seasonal Variations in Industry and Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn33-1, October.
  17. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  18. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  19. A. Michael Spence, 1977. "Entry, Capacity, Investment and Oligopolistic Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 534-544, Autumn.
  20. Bell, William R. & Wilcox, David W., 1993. "The effect of sampling error on the time series behavior of consumption data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1-2), pages 235-265.
  21. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  22. Krane, Spencer D & Braun, Stephen N, 1991. "Production Smoothing Evidence from Physical-Product Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 558-81, June.
  23. Diamond, Peter & Fudenberg, Drew, 1989. "Rational Expectations Business Cycles in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 606-19, June.
  24. Lucas, Robert E., 1977. "Understanding business cycles," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 7-29, January.
  25. Faig, Miquel, 1989. "Seasonal Fluctuations and the Demand for Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 847-61, November.
  26. J. Joseph Beaulieu & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1991. "Why Do Countries and Industries with Large Seasonal Cycles Also Have Large Business Cycles?," NBER Working Papers 3635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  28. Osborn, Denise R, 1988. "Seasonality and Habit Persistence in a Life Cycle Model of Consumptio n," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(4), pages 255-66, October-D.
  29. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  30. Kahn, J.A., 1990. "The Seasonal And Cyclical Behavior Of Inventories," RCER Working Papers 223, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  31. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "Macroeconomic Implications of Production Bunching: Factor Demand Linkages," Papers 0001, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  32. Beaulieu, J. Joseph & Miron, Jeffrey A., 1991. "The seasonal cycle in U.S. manufacturing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 115-118, October.
  33. 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.
  34. Michele Boldrin & Michael Woodford, 1988. "Equilibruim Models Displaying Endogenous Fluctuations and Chaos: A Survey," UCLA Economics Working Papers 530, UCLA Department of Economics.
  35. Robert B. Barsky & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1988. "The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. N. Gregory Mankiw & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 48-58, Spring.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3522. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.