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

  • Jeffrey A. Miron
  • J. Joseph Beaulieu

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5258.

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Date of creation: Sep 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Review of Economics and Statistics, vol. LXXVIII, no. 1, February 1996, pp. 54-66
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5258
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Anil Kashyap & David Wilcox, 1995. "Why Firms Smooth Seasonals in a Boom," Working Papers 001, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  2. J. Joseph Beaulieu & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1990. "The Seasonal Cycle in U.S. Manufacturing," Papers 0012, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper, 1992. "The Aggregate Implications Of Machine Replacement: Theory And Evidence," Working Papers 92-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Jeffrey A. Miron & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Seasonality, Cost Shocks and the Production Smoothing Model of Inventories," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 1-87, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  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. Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John, 1996. "Evidence on Macroeconomic Complementarities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 78-93, February.
  9. 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.
  10. J. Joseph Beaulieu & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1990. "A Cross Country Comparison of Seasonal Cycles and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 3459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alan S. Blinder, 1984. "Can The Production Smoothing Model of Inventory Behavior be Saved?," NBER Working Papers 1257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
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