Empirical results on the size distribution of business cycle phases

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Journal Article
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 2004, 333 (1-4), pp. 325 - 334
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We study the size distribution of business cycles phases, that is expansions and contractions, for a sample of 16 industrialized countries over 120 years. We find that the best-fitting distribution for both expansions and contractions is Weibull, meaning that business cycles possess a characteristic scale. Furthermore, we discuss how parameters' estimates can be used to make inference on the probability a typical episode ends, that is on what economists call turning points. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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