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Volatility and growth

  • Hnatkovska, Viktoria
  • Loayza, Norman

The authors study the empirical, cross-country relationship between macroeconomic volatility and long-run economic growth. They address four central questions: 1) Does the volatility-growth link depend on country and policy characteristics, such as the level of development or trade openness? 2) Does this link reflect a statistically and economically significant causal effect from volatility to growth? 3) Has this relationship been stable over time and has it become stronger in recent decades? 4) Does the volatility-growth connection actually reveal the impact of crises rather than the overall effect of cyclical fluctuations? The authors find that macroeconomic volatility, and long-run economic growth are indeed negatively related. This negative link is exacerbated in countries that are poor, institutionallyunderdeveloped, undergoing intermediate stages of financial development, or unable to conduct counter-cyclical fiscal policies. They find evidence that this negative relationship actually reflects the harmful effect from volatility to growth. Furthermore, the authors find that the negative effect of volatility on growth has become considerably larger in the past two decades, and that it is mostly due to large recessions rather than normal cyclical fluctuations.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3184.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3184
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  1. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1997. "Stabilization Policy, Learning-by-Doing, and Economic Growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 152-66, April.
  3. Fatas, Antonio, 2000. " Do Business Cycles Cast Long Shadows? Short-Run Persistence and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 147-62, June.
  4. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-52, August.
  7. Fischer, Stanley, 1993. "The role of macroeconomic factors in growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 485-512, December.
  8. Judson, Ruth & Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "Inflation, Volatility and Growth," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 117-38, April.
  9. Luis Servén, 2003. "Real-Exchange-Rate Uncertainty and Private Investment in LDCS," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 212-218, February.
  10. Luis Servén, 2003. "ERRATUM: Real-Exchange-Rate Uncertainty and Private Investment in LDCs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 492-492, May.
  11. Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Policy Uncertainty and Private Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 2999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Giuseppe Bertola & Ricardo J. Caballero, 1991. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," NBER Working Papers 3865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alberto Alesina & Sule Ozler & Nouriel Roubini & Phillip Swagel, 1992. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Fatás, Antonio, 1996. "Endogenous Growth and Stochastic Trends," CEPR Discussion Papers 1340, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Alejandro Gaytan & Romain Ranciere, 2004. "Banks, Liquidity Crises and Economic Growth," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 399, Econometric Society.
  16. Shleifer, Andrei, 1986. "Implementation Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1163-90, December.
  17. Caballero, R.J. & Hammour, M.L., 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," Discussion Papers 1991_59, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  18. Robert E. Hall, 1991. "Labor Demand, Labor Supply, and Employment Volatility," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 17-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Imbs, Jean, 2002. "Why the Link Between Volatility and Growth is Both Positive and Negative," CEPR Discussion Papers 3561, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Martin, Philippe & Ann Rogers, Carol, 2000. "Long-term growth and short-term economic instability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 359-381, February.
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