Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 13 No. 2 (Spring 1999)


Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter


JEP - All Issues

Changes in Business Cycles: Evidence and Explanations

Article Citation

Romer, Christina D. 1999. "Changes in Business Cycles: Evidence and Explanations." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13(2): 23-44.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.2.23


This paper shows that the volatility of annual real macroeconomic indicators for the United States and the average severity of recessions have declined only slightly between the pre-World War I and post-World War II eras. Recessions have, however, become somewhat less frequent and more uniform. It argues that the advent of macroeconomic policy after World War II can account for both the observed continuity and change. Countercyclical monetary policy and automatic stabilizers have prolonged postwar expansions and prevented severe depressions. At the same time, policy-induced booms and recessions have led to continued volatility of the postwar economy.

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article (Complimentary)


Romer, Christina D. (U CA, Berkeley)

JEL Classifications

E32: Business Fluctuations; Cycles
E52: Monetary Policy


View Comments on This Article (0) | Login to post a comment

Journal of Economic Perspectives

Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)


JEP - All Issues

Virtual Field Journals

AEA Member Login:

AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us