Document Type

Report

Publication Date

1984

Number

149

Abstract

Recently developed testing procedures have led to renewed interest in the empirical evaluation of the hypothesis that business cycle contractions tend to be sharper and shorter than expansions. Evidence presented by Neftci (1984) and Falk (1984) suggests that, in the United States, cycles in unemployment and real GNP behave in ways that are consistent with the asymmetry hypothesis. This paper looks at time series pertaining to aggregate production in Canada and four West European countries. It does not find additional support for the asymmetry hypothesis.