IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are Economic Growth and the Variability of the Business Cycle Related? Evidence from Five European Countries


  • Stilianos Fountas
  • Menelaos Karanasos

    () (Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway)


We use a long series of annual data that span over 100 years to examine the relationship between output growth and output growth uncertainty in five European countries. Using the GARCH methodology to proxy output growth uncertainty, we obtain two important results: First, more uncertainty about output growth leads to a higher rate of output growth in three of the five countries. Second, output growth reduces output growth uncertainty in all countries except one. Our results provide strong support to the view that macroeconomists should examine the theories of economic growth and the variability of the business cycle in tandem.

Suggested Citation

  • Stilianos Fountas & Menelaos Karanasos, 2002. "Are Economic Growth and the Variability of the Business Cycle Related? Evidence from Five European Countries," Working Papers 0063, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 2002.
  • Handle: RePEc:nig:wpaper:0063

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2002
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: Revised version, 2002
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mirman, Leonard J, 1971. "Uncertainty and Optimal Consumption Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(1), pages 179-185, January.
    2. Ólan T. Henry & Nilss Olekalns, 2002. "The Effect of Recessions on the Relationship between Output Variability and Growth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 683-692, January.
    3. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
    4. Keith Blackburn & Alessandra Pelloni, 2005. "Growth, cycles, and stabilization policy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 262-282, April.
    5. Speight, Alan E H, 1999. "UK Output Variability and Growth: Some Further Evidence," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(2), pages 175-184, May.
    6. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Chattopadhyay, Pradip, 2003. "Volatility and growth in developing economies: some numerical results and empirical evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 267-295, March.
    7. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
    9. Kevin B. Grier & Ólan T. Henry & Nilss Olekalns & Kalvinder Shields, 2004. "The asymmetric effects of uncertainty on inflation and output growth," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(5), pages 551-565.
    10. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    11. Blackburn, Keith & Pelloni, Alessandra, 2004. "On the relationship between growth and volatility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 123-127, April.
    12. Stilianos Fountas & Menelaos Karanasos & Alfonso Mendoza, 2004. "Output Variability and Economic Growth: the Japanese Case," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 353-363, October.
    13. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    14. Pindyck, Robert S, 1991. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 1110-1148, September.
    15. Grinols, Earl L & Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1998. "Risk, Optimal Government Finance and Monetary Policies in a Growing Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(259), pages 401-427, August.
    16. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer, 1988. "The New Keynsesian Economics and the Output-Inflation Trade-off," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 1-82.
    17. Blackburn, Keith & Galindev, Ragchaasuren, 2003. "Growth, volatility and learning," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 417-421, June.
    18. 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.
    19. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
    20. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "Learning to Believe in Sunspots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 277-307, March.
    21. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-384, March.
    22. Bhar, Ramaprasad & Hamori, Shigeyuki, 2003. "Alternative characterization of the volatility in the growth rate of real GDP," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 223-231, April.
    23. K Blackburn & R Galindev, 2003. "Growth, Volatility and Learning," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0303, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    24. A. Sandmo, 1970. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Saving Decisions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 353-360.
    25. Fountas, Stilianos & Karanasos, Menelaos & Kim, Jinki, 2002. "Inflation and output growth uncertainty and their relationship with inflation and output growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 293-301, May.
    26. Turnovsky, Stephen J, 2000. " Government Policy in a Stochastic Growth Model with Elastic Labor Supply," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(4), pages 389-433.
    27. Blackburn, Keith, 1999. "Can Stabilisation Policy Reduce Long-Run Growth?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 67-77, January.
    28. Grier, Kevin B. & Tullock, Gordon, 1989. "An empirical analysis of cross-national economic growth, 1951-1980," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 259-276, September.
    29. Caporale, Tony & McKiernan, Barbara, 1996. "The Relationship between Output Variability and Growth: Evidence from Post War UK Data," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 43(2), pages 229-236, May.
    30. Kormendi, Roger C. & Meguire, Philip G., 1985. "Macroeconomic determinants of growth: Cross-country evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 141-163, September.
    31. K Blackburn & R Galindev, 2003. "Growth, volatility and learning," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 25, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    32. Kneller, Richard & Young, Garry, 2001. "Business Cycle Volatility, Uncertainty and Long-Run Growth," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(5), pages 534-552, Special I.
    33. Smith, William T., 1996. "Taxes, uncertainty, and long-term growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1647-1664, November.
    34. Kevin B. Grier & Mark J. Perry, 2000. "The effects of real and nominal uncertainty on inflation and output growth: some garch-m evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 45-58.
    35. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1991. "Technology Commitment and the Cost of Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 3755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Conrad, Christian & Karanasos, Menelaos & Zeng, Ning, 2010. "The link between macroeconomic performance and variability in the UK," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 154-157, March.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-16-00543 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mehmet Balcilar & Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir, 2017. "A re-examination of growth and growth uncertainty relationship in a stochastic volatility in mean model with time-varying parameters," Working Papers 15-32, Eastern Mediterranean University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Output growth; Output growth uncertainity; GARCH.;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nig:wpaper:0063. 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: (Srinivas Raghavendra). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.