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  • P-ISSN 1738-656X

한국개발연구. Vol. 31, No. 2, December 2009, pp. 47-85

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Changes in the Business Cycle of the Korean Economy: Evidence and Explanations

Jae joon Lee

Author & Article History

Manuscript .


With a relatively simple quantitative method, this study comprehensively analyzes the characteristics related to business cycles represented by macroeconomic variables of Korea since 1970. This empirical analysis deals with roughly following three topics: How to identify cyclical component with respect to trend; with what characteristics and how the economic variables of each sector move with in the phases of business cycle, and; whether there are signs of a structural change in the phases of business cycle. Section 2 discusses how to identify trends and cycle components, the basis assumption for the analysis of business cycle. Like the Korean economy, where a relatively high growth rate has been maintained, it is appropriate to determine its economic recession based on the fall in the growth trend, not in the absolute level of real output. And, it is necessary to apply the concept of growth cycle against a traditional concept of business cycle. Accordingly the setting of growth trend is of preliminary importance in identifying cyclical fluctuations. The analysis of Korea’s GDP data since 1970, the decomposition of trends and cycles through the Band-pass filter is found to appropriately identify the actual phases of busyness cycle. Section 3 analyzes what particular relationship various economic variables have with output fluctuations during the phases of economic cycle, using the corss-correlation coefficients and prediction contribution. Section 4 monitors the stability of the phases of Korea’s business cycle and quantitatively verifies whether there is a structural break, and then reviews the characteristics of variations in each sector. And, stylized facts observed through these studies are summarized in the conclusion. The macroeconomic stability of Korea, in particular, is found to continue to improve since 1970, except for the financial crisis period. Not only that, it is found that its volatility of economic growth rate as well as inflation have been reduced gradually. Meanwhile, until recently since 2000, the volatility in domestic demand has remained stable, while that in exports and imports has been increased slightly. But, in an over all perspective, Korea’s business cycle variation is on the decline due to shorter response period to shocks and the formation of complementary relationship among economic sectors.


경기순환(Business Cycle), 변동성(Volatility), 추세순환 분해(TrendCycle Decomposition)

JEL Code

E3, C1

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