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The Great Moderation and the Relationship between Output Growth and Its Volatility

  • WenSho Fang

    (Feng Chia University)

  • Stephen M. Miller

    (University of Connecticut and University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

This study examines the effect of the Great Moderation on the relationship between U.S. output growth and its volatility over the period 1947 to 2006. First, we consider the possible effects of structural change in the volatility process. In so doing, we employ GARCH-M and ARCH-M specifications of the process describing output growth rate and its volatility with and without a one-time structural break in volatility. Second, our data analyses and empirical results suggest no significant relationship between the output growth rate and its volatility, favoring the traditional wisdom of dichotomy in macroeconomics. Moreover, the evidence shows that the time-varying variance falls sharply or even disappears once we incorporate a one-time structural break in the unconditional variance of output starting 1982 or 1984. That is, the integrated GARCH effect proves spurious. Finally, a joint test of a trend change and a one-time shift in the volatility process finds that the one-time shift dominates.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2007-04.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Southern Economic Journal, January 2008
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2007-04
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
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  1. Peter M. Summers, 2005. "What caused the Great Moderation? : some cross-country evidence," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 5-32.
  2. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
  3. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1993. "Productivity growth and the structure of the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 861-883, May.
  4. 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 1138-51, December.
  5. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Persistence of Volatility and Stock Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1142-51, December.
  6. Matthew Rafferty, 2005. "The Effects of Expected and Unexpected Volatility on Long-Run Growth: Evidence from 18 Developed Economies," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 582-591, January.
  7. 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 175-84, May.
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