NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

International Business Cycles: Theory and Evidence

David Backus, Patrick J. Kehoe, Finn E. Kydland

NBER Working Paper No. 4493
Issued in October 1993
NBER Program(s):   IFM

We review recent work comparing properties of international business cycles with those of dynamic general equilibrium models, emphasizing two discrepancies between theory and data that we refer to as anomalies. The first is the consumption/output/productivity anomaly: in the data we generally find that the correlation across countries of output fluctuations is larger than the analogous consumption and productivity correlations. In theoretical economies we find, for a wide range of parameter values, that the consumption correlation exceeds the productivity and output correlations. The second anomaly concerns relative price movements: the standard deviation of the terms of trade is considerably larger in the data than it is in theoretical economies. We speculate on changes in theoretical structure that might bring theory and data closer together.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4493

Published:

  • Quarterly Review of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Fall 1993
  • T. Cooley, ed.: Frontiers in Business Cycle Research. Princeton University Press 1995

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