Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Stockholm Papers in Economic History,
Stockholm University, Department of Economic History

No 18: The business cycle in historical perspective: Reconstructing quarterly data on Swedish GDP 1913-2014

Rodney Edvinsson () and Erik Hegelund ()
Additional contact information
Rodney Edvinsson: Dept. of Economic History, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economic History , Stockholm University , SE 106 91 STOCKHOLM, Sweden
Erik Hegelund: Dept. of Economic History, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economic History , Stockholm University , SE 106 91 STOCKHOLM, Sweden

Abstract: Although historical national accounts for Sweden belong to the most detailed in the world, hitherto no quarterly series of Sweden GDP has been published for the period before the 1960s. In this paper we present such a series back to 1913, using higher frequency series on manufacturing and private consumption as indicators, and standard methods for temporal disaggregation from annual GDP data. By applying the JDemetra+ software, we also estimate a deseasonalized volume time series. Based on this new quarterly data and the Bry-Boschan algorithm to identify peaks and troughs we present different chronologies of the classical business cycle in Sweden, indicating a somewhat new and more precise picture of the economic development for the last 100 years. We find that the new series provides new information on the business cycle, confirming its very irregular nature and detecting recessions that are not clearly indicated by annual data.

Keywords: Quarterly GDP; Temporal disaggregation; Business cycles; Sweden

JEL-codes: N14

27 pages, August 26, 2016

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