IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Declining Output Volatility: What Role for Structural Change?

  • Christopher Kent

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Kylie Smith

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • James Holloway

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Registered author(s):

    The decline in output volatility in a number of countries over the past few decades has been well-documented, though less agreement has been reached about the causes of this decline. In this paper, we use a panel of data from 20 OECD countries to see if there is a role for various indicators of structural reform in explaining the general decline in output volatility. We suggest that reforms in product and labour markets can reduce volatility of aggregate output by encouraging productive resources to shift more readily in response to differential shocks across firms and sectors. In contrast to other studies, we include direct measures of product market regulations and monetary policy regimes as indicators of structural reform. We find that less product market regulation and stricter monetary policy regimes have played a role in reducing output volatility. Our estimates are reasonably robust to a number of alternative specifications, including those that attempt to control for a possible trend in common (unexplained) innovations to output volatility such as a possible decline in the magnitude of global shocks.

    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:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2005-08.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Oct 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2005-08
    Contact details of provider: Postal: GPO Box 3947, Sydney NSW 2001
    Phone: 61-2-9551-8111
    Fax: 61-2-9551-8000
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    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. Nigel Pain, 1996. "Continental Drift: European Integration and the Location of UK Foreign Direct Investment," NIESR Discussion Papers 107, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    2. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Andrea Bassanini & Ekkehard Ernst & Sébastien Jean & Paulo Santiago & Paul Swaim, 2001. "Product and Labour Markets Interactions in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 312, OECD Publishing.
    3. Diego A. Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2006. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 167-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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).
    5. Christina D. Romer, 1999. "Changes in Business Cycles: Evidence and Explanations," NBER Working Papers 6948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Thomas Dalsgaard & Jørgen Elmeskov & Cyn-Young Park, 2002. "Ongoing Changes in the Business Cycle – Evidence and Causes," Chapters in SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum.
    7. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
    8. Ray Barrell & Sylvia Gottschalk, 2004. "The Volatility Of The Output Gap In The G7," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 136, Royal Economic Society.
    9. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy become more Efficient? a Cross-Country Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 408-433, 04.
    10. Ray Barell & Sylvia Gottschalk, 2004. "The Volatility of the Output Gap in the G7," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 188(1), pages 100-107, April.
    11. Markus Hyvonen, 2004. "Inflation Convergence Across Countries," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2004-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    12. Kenen,Peter B., 1995. "Economic and Monetary Union in Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521558839.
    13. Canova, Fabio & Marrinan, Jane, 1998. "Sources and propagation of international output cycles: Common shocks or transmission?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 133-166, October.
    14. 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.
    15. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, 2003. "Regulation, Productivity and Growth: OECD Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 347, OECD Publishing.
    16. Michael D. Bordo & Anna J. Schwartz, 1997. "Monetary Policy Regimes and Economic Performance: The Historical Record," NBER Working Papers 6201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. John Simon, 2001. "The Decline in Australian Output Volatility," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2001-01, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    18. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    19. Canova, Fabio & Dellas, Harris, 1993. "Trade interdependence and the international business cycle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 23-47, February.
    20. Keith Sill, 2004. "What accounts for the postwar decline in economic volatility?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q1, pages 23-31.
    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:rba:rbardp:rdp2005-08. 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: (Paula Drew)

    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.