This paper uses the classical (level) definition of business cycles to analyze the characteristics-duration, amplitude, steepness, and cumulative output movements-of the real GDP series of France, Germany, Italy, the rest of the euro area, and the United States. An index of concordance and its test statistic suggest a great deal of comovement/synchronization between output cycles. Following that result, a dynamic factor model is estimated. Output fluctuations are mostly explained by a global common component and an euro area common component. However, idiosyncratic components also matter, especially for France, the rest of the euro area, and the United States.
Using symmetric data sets of 92 weekly return observations before and after the introduction of the euro, the paper analyzes the impact of the new currency on the return structure of equity markets in the European Monetary Union. Variance decompositions, cluster analyses, and principle component analyses are used to explore the changes in the structural relations. European industry factors are found to have dramatically increased in importance with the launch of the single currency, and a new 'country-size' factor in European stock returns is detected. Furthermore, inner-European correlations are documented to have been reduced sharply with the start of the monetary union.
This paper develops an aggregation procedure using time-varying weights for constructing the common component of international economic fluctuations. The methodology for deriving time-varying weights is based on some stylized features of the data documented in the paper. The model allows for a unified treatment of cyclical and seasonal fluctuations and also captures the dynamic propagation of shocks across countries. Correlations of individual country fluctuations with the common component provide evidence of a “world business cycle” and a distinct European common component. The results suggest that macroeconomic fluctuations have become more closely linked across industrial economies in the post–Bretton Woods period.