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What determines macroeconomic volatility? A cross-section and panel data study


  • Leonidas Spiliopoulos

    (University of Sydney)


This paper examines the determinants of the volatility in growth rates, seeking to expand on a very limited literature which has focused almost exclusively on financial determinants of volatility. An analysis of 41 variables and their effects on growth volatility yields some surprising results: the relationship between financial sophistication and volatility is not clearly positive as expounded in many studies, the oft cited negative relationship between real GDP per capita and volatility turns out to be positive, and there is no important relationship between inflation and volatility. The main policy implication for authorities is that intervention in most cases, whether in the form of trade and currency controls, or high government consumption, tends to exacerbate volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonidas Spiliopoulos, 2005. "What determines macroeconomic volatility? A cross-section and panel data study," Macroeconomics 0505026, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0505026 Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 39

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 709-751, August.
    2. Denizer Cevdet A. & Iyigun Murat F. & Owen Ann, 2002. "Finance and Macroeconomic Volatility," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, October.
    3. Robert G. King & Ross Levine, 1993. "Finance and Growth: Schumpeter Might Be Right," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 717-737.
    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 1138-1151, December.
    5. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R. & Lundblad, Christian, 2006. "Growth volatility and financial liberalization," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 370-403, April.
    6. Ross Levine & Norman Loayza & Thorsten Beck, 2002. "Financial Intermediation and Growth: Causality and Causes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Leonardo Hernández & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.), Banking, Financial Integration, and International Crises, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 2, pages 031-084 Central Bank of Chile.
    7. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1997. "I Just Ran Two Million Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 178-183, May.
    8. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-963, September.
    9. Joseph Macri & Dipendra Sinha, 2000. "Output variability and economic growth: The case of Australia," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 24(3), pages 275-282, September.
    10. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2000. "A non-linear sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 604-617, August.
    11. 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.
    12. Thanasis Stengos & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Pantelis Kalaitzidakis, 2002. "Specification and sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 645-656.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vatcharin Sirimaneetham, 2006. "Explaining policy volatility in developing countries," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 06/583, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Pamela Góngora Salazar, 2010. "Determinantes de la volatilidad en el producto: evidencia empírica," VNIVERSITAS ECONÓMICA 008297, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
    3. repec:pid:journl:v:55:y:2016:i:4:p:483-497 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    volatility; international economics; international finance; growth;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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