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The great moderation: updated evidence with joint tests for multiple structural changes in variance and persistence

Pierre Perron () and Yohei Yamamoto

Empirical Economics, 2022, vol. 62, issue 3, No 10, 1193-1218

Abstract: Abstract We assess the empirical evidence about the great moderation using a comprehensive framework to test for multiple structural changes in the coefficients and in the variance of the error term of a linear regression model provided by Perron et al. (Quant Econ 11:1019–1057, 2020). We apply it to the US real GDP and its major components for the period 1960:1 to 2018:4. A notable feature of our approach is that we adopt an unobserved component model, allowing for two breaks in the trend function in 1973:1 and 2008:1, in order to obtain a stationary or cyclical component modelled as an autoregressive process. First, we confirm evidence about the great moderation, i.e., a structural change in variance of the errors in the mid-80s for the various series. Second, additional breaks in variance are found in 1970:3 for GDP and production (goods), after which the sample variance increased by three times. Hence, a part of the great moderation can be viewed as a reversion to the 1960–1970 level of volatility. Third, the evidence about systematic changes in the sum of the autoregressive coefficients (a measure of persistence) is weak over the whole sample period. Finally, we find little evidence of structural changes occurring in both the variance and the coefficients following the great recession (2007–2008). These results support views emphasizing the “good luck” hypothesis as a source of the great moderation, which continues even after the great recession.

Keywords: The great moderation; The great recession; Multiple structural changes; Joint tests; Structural change; Trend-cycle decomposition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C22 C32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Working Paper: The Great Moderation: Updated Evidence with Joint Tests for Multiple Structural Changes in Variance and Persistence (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: The Great Moderation: Updated Evidence with Joint Tests for Multiple Structural Changes in Variance and Persistence (2019) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1007/s00181-021-02047-x

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