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Measuring Business Cycle: A Modern Perspective

In the first half of this century, special attention was given to two features of the business cycle: (1) the comovement of many individual economic series and (2) the different behavior of the economy during expansions and contractions. Both of these attributes were ignored in many subsequent business cycle models, which were often linear representations of a single macroeconomic aggregate. However, recent theoretical and empirical research has revived interest in each attribute separately. Notably, dynamic factor models have been used to obtain a single common factor from a set of macroeconomic variables, and nonlinear models have been used to describe the regime-switching nature of aggregate output. We survey these two strands of research and then provide some suggestive empirical analysis in an effort to unite the two literatures and to assess their usefulness in a statistical characterization of business- cycle dynamics.

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  1. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H., 1977. "Stabilization of the domestic and international economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-6, January.
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  19. Francis X. Diebold & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1987. "Scoring the leading indicators," Special Studies Papers 206, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1992. "A Procedure for Predicting Recessions With Leading Indicators: Econometric Issues and Recent Experience," NBER Working Papers 4014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. 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 357-84, March.
  24. Hamilton, James D., 1988. "Rational-expectations econometric analysis of changes in regime : An investigation of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 385-423.
  25. Engle, Robert F & Kozicki, Sharon, 1993. "Testing for Common Features," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(4), pages 369-80, October.
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  27. Francis X. Diebold & Marc Nerlove, 1986. "The dynamics of exchange rate volatility: a multivariate latent factor ARCH model," Special Studies Papers 205, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  28. Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Two Models of Measurements and the Investment Accelerator," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-87, April.
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  40. Neftci, Salih N, 1984. "Are Economic Time Series Asymmetric over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 307-28, April.
  41. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  42. Francis X. Diebold & Joon-Haeng Lee & Gretchen C. Weinbach, 1993. "Regime switching with time-varying transition probabilities," Working Papers 93-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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