A Cross Country Comparison of Seasonal Cycles and Business Cycles

32 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2006

See all articles by Joe Beaulieu

Joe Beaulieu

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve - Division of Research and Statistics - Industrial Output Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeffrey A. Miron

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 1990

Abstract

In a recent paper Barsky and Miron (1989) examine the seasonal fluctuations in the U. S. economy. They show that the key stylized facts about the business cycle characterize the seasonal cycle as well, and they suggest that the interpretation of many of these stylized facts over the seasonal cycle is easier than interpretation over the business cycle. The reason is that the ultimate sources of seasonal cycles are more readily identifiable than those of business cycles. This paper uses the cross country variation in seasonal patterns to pin down the ultimate sources of seasonal variation more precisely than is possible from examination of U.S. data alone. We conclude that a Christmas shift in preferences and synergies across agents are the key determinants of the seasonal patterns around the world. The paper also establishes that, across developed countries, the key observations about aggregate variables that characterize the business cycle also characterize the seasonal cycle. Thus, the similarity of the seasonal cycle and the business cycle demonstrated by Barsky and Miron (1989) for the united states is a robust stylized fact.

Suggested Citation

Beaulieu, J. Joseph and Miron, Jeffrey A., A Cross Country Comparison of Seasonal Cycles and Business Cycles (October 1990). NBER Working Paper No. w3459. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=471486

J. Joseph Beaulieu (Contact Author)

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve - Division of Research and Statistics - Industrial Output Section

20th and Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States
202-452-3819 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jeffrey A. Miron

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
19
Abstract Views
294
PlumX Metrics