Working Paper

A simple decomposition of the variance of output growth across countries


  • Reicher
  • C.
Publication Date

This paper outlines a simple regression-based method to decompose the variance of an aggregate time series into the variance of its components, which is then applied to measure the relative contributions of productivity, hours per worker, and employment to cyclical output growth across a panel of countries. Measured productivity contributes more to the cycle in Europe and Japan than in the United States. Employment contributes the largest proportion of the cycle in Europe and the United States (but not Japan), which is inconsistent with the idea that higher levels of employment protection in Europe dampen cyclical employment fluctuations.


JEL Classification
C32, E24, E32

Key Words

  • Business cycles
  • extensive margin
  • Intensive margin
  • Konjunkturzyklen
  • productivity
  • Produktivität
  • variance decomposition