Measuring Economic Slack in Asia and the Pacific

16 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2014

See all articles by James Morley

James Morley

University of Sydney - School of Economics

Date Written: March 2014


Economic “slack” directly implies the ability for an economy to grow quickly without any necessary reversal in the future. This implication motivates a forecast-based approach to measuring economic slack. Given this approach, estimated output gaps for most of the major economies in Asia and the Pacific display strong asymmetry, with larger negative levels during recessions than positive levels during expansions. The estimated output gaps are also strongly correlated with narrower measures of slack given by the unemployment rate and capacity utilisation when these are available for a given economy. In terms of a Phillips Curve relationship with future inflation, there are important non-linearities and evidence of changes across policy regimes for some of the economies, arguing against imposing a fixed linear Phillips Curve when measuring slack. Finally, the output gaps appear to have important dynamic linkages across many of the economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Full publication: Globalisation, Inflation and Monetary Policy in Asia and the Pacific

Keywords: output gap, business cycle asymmetry, Phillips Curve, Asia-Pacific economies

JEL Classification: E32, E37

Suggested Citation

Morley, James, Measuring Economic Slack in Asia and the Pacific (March 2014). BIS Paper No. 77c, Available at SSRN:

James Morley (Contact Author)

University of Sydney - School of Economics ( email )

Rm 607 Social Sciences Building
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006 2008

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