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Calm after the Storm?: Supply-side contributions to New Zealand’s GDP volatility decline

The variance of New Zealand’s real GDP has declined since the mid-1980s. To investigate why, this paper decomposes the variance of chain-weighted estimates of production-based real GDP growth into sector shares, sector growth rate variances and co-variances. The principal explanation for the decline in GDP volatility is a fall in the sum of sector variances driven by a decline in the Services and Manufacturing sector production growth variances. Sector co-variances have had a dominant influence on the profile of GDP volatility and this influence has not diminished. Despite marked changes in sector shares, notably increases in Services and Primary sector shares and a decrease in the share of Manufacturing, this has not been a significant factor influencing the decline in GDP volatility. We postulate that policy interventions such as “Think Big”, regulatory interventions during the early 1980s, and the introduction of GST are key explanations for the higher volatility until the mid 1980s. Cessation of these interventions, deregulation and possibly changes in inventory management methods are important reasons why GDP volatility has fallen since then.

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File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2001/01-33/twp01-33.pdf
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Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 01/33.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:01/33
Contact details of provider: Postal: New Zealand Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: +64-4-472 2733
Fax: +64-4-473 0982
Web page: http://www.treasury.govt.nz

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  1. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  2. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Margaret M. McConnell & Patricia C. Mosser & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1999. "A decomposition of the increased stability of GDP growth," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Aug).
  4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. John B. Taylor, 2000. "Reassessing Discretionary Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 21-36, Summer.
  6. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
  7. Glenn Otto & Graham Voss & Luke Willard, 2001. "Understanding OECD Output Correlations," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2001-05, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  8. John Taylor, 2000. "Recent changes in trend and cycle, remarks," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Viv Hall & Kunhong Kim & Robert Buckle, 1998. "Pacific rim business cycle analysis: Synchronisation and volatility," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(2), pages 129-159.
  10. Allsop, Christopher & Vines, David, 2000. "The Assessment: Macroeconomic Policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 1-32, Winter.
  11. Romer, Christina D, 1986. "Is the Stabilization of the Postwar Economy a Figment of the Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 314-34, June.
  12. Watson, Mark W, 1994. "Business-Cycle Durations and Postwar Stabilization of the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 24-46, March.
  13. John Simon, 2001. "The Decline in Australian Output Volatility," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2001-01, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  14. Martin Neil Baily, 1978. "Stabilization Policy and Private Economic Behavior," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(1), pages 11-60.
  15. Romer, Christina D, 1991. "The Cyclical Behavior of Individual Production Series, 1889-1984," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 1-31, February.
  16. Francisco Nadal-De Simone, 2001. "An Investigation of Output Variance Before and During Inflation Targeting," IMF Working Papers 01/215, International Monetary Fund.
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