International Cycles (ICPSR 1116)

Published: Jun 10, 1996

Principal Investigator(s):
Stephen G. Cecchetti; Anil K. Kashyap

Version V1

Twenty years of monthly production data for 11 manufacturing industries in 19 countries are studied. Using the fact that in some countries production virtually shuts down for one summer month, together with the differences in the timing of aggregate cyclical fluctuations, information is provided on the cost structure of different industries. A number of previously documented patterns can be confirmed. In particular, a tremendous amount of volatility in production is accounted for by seasonal shifts, but the seasonal shifts are not very highly correlated across countries. There are also considerable differences in the timing and magnitude of business cycles across countries. Lastly, the country-level differences in seasonality are larger that the industry-level patterns in seasonality. In addition to these basic observations, a number of new results describing how seasonal production patterns vary over the course of the business cycle are provided. With the exception of textiles, and to a lesser extent transportation equipment and chemicals, the seasonal cycle in production is significantly less volatile during a business cycle boom than it is during a business cycle contraction. For one-third of the 19 countries in our sample, there are significant cyclical/seasonal interactions common to all industries within the country. In relative terms, the estimated interactions that are common to countries are larger than the interactions that are common to industries. This is in line with the finding that the overall variation in production differs more across countries that it does across industries. Finally, the reallocation of production from high output months to low output months that typically occurs in moving from a business cycle through to peak is sometimes quite large.

Cecchetti, Stephen G., and Kashyap, Anil K. International Cycles. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1996-06-10.

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