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What Have Macroeconomists Learned about Business Cycles from the Study of Seasonal Cycles?

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  • Jeffrey A. Miron
  • J. Joseph Beaulieu

Abstract

This paper argues that analysis of seasonal fluctuations can shed light on the nature of business cycle fluctuations. The fundamental reason is that in many instances identifying restrictions about seasonal fluctuations are more believable than analogous restrictions about non-seasonal fluctuations. We show that seasonal fluctuations provide good examples of preference shifts and synergistic equilibria. We also find evidence against production smoothing and in favor of unmeasured variation in labor and capital utilization. In some industries capacity constraints appear to bind.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey A. Miron & J. Joseph Beaulieu, 1995. "What Have Macroeconomists Learned about Business Cycles from the Study of Seasonal Cycles?," NBER Working Papers 5258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5258
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beaulieu, J. Joseph & Miron, Jeffrey A., 1991. "The seasonal cycle in U.S. manufacturing," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 115-118, October.
    2. Miron, Jeffrey A & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1988. "Seasonality, Cost Shocks, and the Production Smoothing Models of Inventories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 877-908, July.
    3. Alan S. Blinder, 1986. "Can the Production Smoothing Model of Inventory Behavior be Saved?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 431-453.
    4. Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John, 1993. "The Aggregate Implications of Machine Replacement: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 360-382, June.
    5. Beaulieu, J Joseph & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1992. "A Cross Country Comparison of Seasonal Cycles and Business Cycles," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 772-788, July.
    6. 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.
    7. Krane, Spencer & Wascher, William, 1999. "The cyclical sensitivity of seasonality in U.S. employment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 523-553, 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 853-864, September.
    9. J. Joseph Beaulieu & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1992. "Why Do Countries and Industries with Large Seasonal Cycles Also Have Large Business Cycles?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 621-656.
    10. Cooper, Russell W. & Haltiwanger, John Jr., 1992. "Macroeconomic implications of production bunching : Factor demand linkages," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 107-127, October.
    11. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Anil Kashyap & David Wilcox, 1995. "Why Firms Smooth Seasonals in a Boom," Working Papers 001, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    12. Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John, 1996. "Evidence on Macroeconomic Complementarities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 78-93, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dick van Dijk 1 & Birgit Strikholm & Timo Teräsvirta, 2003. "The effects of institutional and technological change and business cycle fluctuations on seasonal patterns in quarterly industrial production series," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 6(1), pages 79-98, June.
    2. Swanson, Norman R. & Urbach, Richard, 2015. "Prediction and simulation using simple models characterized by nonstationarity and seasonality," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 312-323.
    3. Wen Yi, 2004. "What Does It Take to Explain Procyclical Productivity?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-40, June.
    4. RUSSO, Giuseppe & VEREDAS, David, 2000. "Institutional rigidities and employment rigidity in the Italian large industrial firms," CORE Discussion Papers 2000048, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. Raimundo Soto, 2002. "Ajuste Estacional e Integración en Variables Macroeconómicas," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 39(116), pages 135-155.
    6. Franses,Philip Hans & Dijk,Dick van & Opschoor,Anne, 2014. "Time Series Models for Business and Economic Forecasting," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521520911.
    7. B. Candelon & A. Dupuy & L. Gil-Alana, 2009. "The nature of occupational unemployment rates in the United States: hysteresis or structural?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(19), pages 2483-2493.
    8. Ravi Jagannathan & Srikant Marakani & Hitoshi Takehara & Yong Wang, 2012. "Calendar Cycles, Infrequent Decisions, and the Cross Section of Stock Returns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(3), pages 507-522, March.
    9. Ahdi Ajmi & Adnen Ben Nasr & Mohamed Boutahar, 2008. "Seasonal Nonlinear Long Memory Model for the US Inflation Rates," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 243-254, April.
    10. Wen, Yi, 2007. "By force of demand: Explaining international comovements," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-23, January.
    11. Yi Wen, 2005. "By force of demand: explaining international comovements and the saving-investment correlation puzzle," Working Papers 2005-043, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    12. Ravi Jagannathan & Yong Wang, 2005. "Consumption Risk and the Cost of Equity Capital," NBER Working Papers 11026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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