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Why Do Countries and Industries with Large Seasonal Cycles Also Have Large Business Cycles?

  • J. Joseph Beaulieu
  • Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason
  • Jeffrey A. Miron

We show there is a strong, positive correlation across countries and industries between the standard deviation of the seasonal component and the standard deviation of the non-seasonal component of aggregate variables such as output, labor input, interest rates, and prices. After documenting this stylized fact, we discuss possible explanations and develop a model that generates our empirical finding. The main feature of the model is that firms endogenously choose their degree of technological flexibility as a function of the amounts of seasonal and non-seasonal variation in demand. Although this model is intended to be illustrative, we find evidence supporting one of its key empirical implications.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3635.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3635.

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Date of creation: Feb 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 1992
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3635
Note: EFG
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  1. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  2. Miron, J.A., 1988. "A Cross-Country Comparaison Of Seasonal Cycles And Business Cycles," Papers 89-07, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  3. 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.
  4. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1989. "The Cyclical Behavior of Strategic Inventories," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(1), pages 73-97, February.
  5. Barsky, Robert B & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1989. "The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 503-34, June.
  6. 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.
  7. repec:fth:harver:1418 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "How Does Macroeconomic Policy Affect Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 433-494.
  9. Simon Kuznets, 1933. "Seasonal Variations in Industry and Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn33-1, May.
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