IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Is real GDP per capita a stationary process? Smooth transitions, nonlinear trends and unit root testing

  • Juan Carlos Cuestas
  • Dean Garratt

The aim of this paper is to provide additional evidence about the order of integration of constant price GDP per capita in a selection of countries. It does so by taking into account the possibility of non-linear deterministic trends and of asymmetric adjustment towards equilibrium. We find evidence of a global stationary ESTAR process around a nonlinear deterministic trend in almost half of the selected countries. These results show that nonlinearities affect real GDP series. By neglecting them, one can draw misleading conclusions from unit root tests. Specifically, the paper questions the so-called stylised fact of a near unit root which has so influenced macroeconomic thought over the past two decades.

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:
File Function: First version, 2008
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division in its series Working Papers with number 2008/12.

in new window

Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbs:wpaper:2008/12
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Charles Nelson & Christian Murray, 1997. "The Uncertain Trend in U.S. GDP," Computational Economics 9702001, EconWPA.
  2. Tsangyao Chang & Ching-Chun Wei & Chien-Chung Nieh, 2005. "Is Per Capita Real GDP Stationary? Evidence from Selected African Countries Based on More Powerful Nonlinear (Logistic) Unit Root Tests," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(24), pages 1-9.
  3. Mehmet Caner & Bruce E. Hansen, 2001. "Threshold Autoregression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1555-1596, November.
  4. Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robinson Kruse, 2011. "A new unit root test against ESTAR based on a class of modified statistics," Statistical Papers, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 71-85, February.
  6. Michael, Panos & Nobay, A Robert & Peel, David A, 1997. "Transactions Costs and Nonlinear Adjustment in Real Exchange Rates: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 862-79, August.
  7. Beechey, Meredith & Österholm, Pär, 2008. "Revisiting the uncertain unit root in GDP and CPI: Testing for non-linear trend reversion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 221-223, August.
  8. Perron, P., 1989. "Testing For A Unit Root In A Time Series With A Changing Mean," Papers 347, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  9. Alok Bhargava, 1986. "On the Theory of Testing for Unit Roots in Observed Time Series," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 369-384.
  10. Leybourne, Stephen J. & C. Mills, Terence & Newbold, Paul, 1998. "Spurious rejections by Dickey-Fuller tests in the presence of a break under the null," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 191-203, August.
  11. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:3:y:2005:i:24:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. David I. Harvey & Stephen J. Leybourne, 2007. "Testing for time series linearity," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 10(1), pages 149-165, 03.
  13. Ludlow, Jorge & Enders, Walter, 2000. "Estimating non-linear ARMA models using Fourier coefficients," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 333-347.
  14. Ben-David, Dan & Papell, David H., 1995. "The great wars, the great crash, and steady state growth: Some new evidence about an old stylized fact," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 453-475, December.
  15. West, Kenneth D, 1988. "Asymptotic Normality, When Regressors Have a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1397-1417, November.
  16. Steven N. Durlauf, 1989. "Output Persistence, Economic Structure, and the Choice of Stabilization Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(2), pages 69-136.
  17. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 1997. "Lag Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 369, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2000.
  18. Bierens, Herman J., 1997. "Testing the unit root with drift hypothesis against nonlinear trend stationarity, with an application to the US price level and interest rate," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 29-64, November.
  19. Abadir, Karim M. & Distaso, Walter, 2007. "Testing joint hypotheses when one of the alternatives is one-sided," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 695-718, October.
  20. Perron, Pierre & Phillips, Peter C. B., 1987. "Does GNP have a unit root? : A re-evaluation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 139-145.
  21. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
  22. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  23. Kapetanios, George & Shin, Yongcheol & Snell, Andy, 2003. "Testing for a unit root in the nonlinear STAR framework," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 359-379, February.
  24. Vougas, Dimitrios V., 2007. "Is the trend in post-WW II US real GDP uncertain or non-linear?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 348-355, March.
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:nbs:wpaper:2008/12. 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: (Simeon Coleman)

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.