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Output volatility in Australia

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A number of papers have documented a significant decline in real GDP volatility in several major OECD economies. Some authors have presented evidence to suggest that this is the outcome of a one-off structural break from a high to low volatility state whilst others have estimated regime switching models that indicate low volatility regime states have dominated in recent years. This article provides further evidence on the general properties of output volatility for Australia, including evidence of a significant moderation in output volatility for the country that occurred in the early 1980s. Estimates of various GARCH models of real GDP growth are also provided to further examine shorter term volatility features of the Australian economy that are associated with its business-cycle. A regime shift dummy is maintained in all models of the conditional variance in order to account for the regime shift in volatility and evidence is found of significant business-cycle effects, including leverage effects and asymmetries that suggest recessions are times of higher output volatility than economic expansions. Overall, it is concluded that the so-called 'Great Moderation' in macroeconomic instability, as documented here for Australia, is a result of a myriad of economic, institutional and policymaking changes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Economics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4072

Publication date: 2009-11-01

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