The Decline in German Output Volatility: A Bayesian Analysis
Using Bayesian methods, we analyze whether a volatility reduction as sharp as documented for growth of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in the mid-1980ies can also be detected for German GDP growth. Our analysis, based on different time series models allowing for alternative characterizations of output stabilization, provides across all models empirical evidence for a decline in the output volatility around 1993. Furthermore, we assess competing explanations for reduced output volatility. The results suggest that the main source for the volatility reduction is an ongoing structural shift accelerated by the German reunification and accompanied by changes in the correlation structure between individual GDP components.