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Measuring U.S. Business Cycles: A Comparison of Two Methods and Two Indicators of Economic Activities (With Appendix A)

Listed author(s):
  • Francis W. Ahking

    (University of Connecticut)

We examine two issues in business cycle research. We first compare the performance of Hamilton’s Markov-Switching (MS) model and the Bry and Boschan algorithm in replicating the US business cycle features. A number of studies, especially Harding and Pagan, have demonstrated that Hamilton’s nonlinear MS model do not replicate business cycle features better than simpler linear models. Second, we compare the ability of the U.S. real GDP and a relatively new coincident index of four economic indicators, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, in replicating features of the U.S. business cycle. We find that Hamilton’s MS model is not robust when compared to the Bry and Boschan algorithm with respect to different sample periods and to different measures of real income. Second, we also find that a constructed quarterly version of the coincident index is slightly preferred over the real GDP.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2015-06.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2015-06.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2015
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2015-06
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University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063

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Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2003. "Rejoinder to James Hamilton," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1695-1698, July.
  2. Beate Schirwitz, 2009. "A comprehensive German business cycle chronology," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 287-301, October.
  3. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2003. "A comparison of two business cycle dating methods," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1681-1690, July.
  4. Hess, Gregory D & Iwata, Shigeru, 1997. "Measuring and Comparing Business-Cycle Features," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 432-444, October.
  5. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1, November.
  6. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Foreword to "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs"," NBER Chapters,in: Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs, pages -1 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michael T. Owyang & Jeremy Piger & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Business Cycle Phases in U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 604-616, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Filardo, Andrew J, 1994. "Business-Cycle Phases and Their Transitional Dynamics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 299-308, July.
  10. Proietti, Tommaso, 2005. "New algorithms for dating the business cycle," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 477-498, April.
  11. Harding, Don & Pagan, Adrian, 2002. "Dissecting the cycle: a methodological investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 365-381, March.
  12. Boldin, Michael D, 1994. "Dating Turning Points in the Business Cycle," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67(1), pages 97-131, January.
  13. Michael Massmann & James Mitchell & Martin Weale, 2003. "Business Cycles and Turning Points: A Survey of Statistical Techniques," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 183(1), pages 90-106, January.
  14. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1998. "Business Cycle Turning Points, A New Coincident Index, And Tests Of Duration Dependence Based On A Dynamic Factor Model With Regime Switching," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 188-201, May.
  15. Bruno, Giancarlo & Otranto, Edoardo, 2008. "Models to date the business cycle: The Italian case," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 899-911, September.
  16. Phillips, Keith R., 2004. "A new monthly index of the Texas business cycle," Working Papers 0401, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  17. Hamilton, James D., 2003. "Comment on "A comparison of two business cycle dating methods"," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1691-1693, July.
  18. Gerhard Bry & Charlotte Boschan, 1971. "Cyclical Analysis of Time Series: Selected Procedures and Computer Programs," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bry_71-1, November.
  19. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1989. "New Indexes of Coincident and Leading Economic Indicators," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 351-409 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Theodore M. Crone & Alan Clayton-Matthews, 2005. "Consistent Economic Indexes for the 50 States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 593-603, November.
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