The aim of this paper is to test formally the classical business cycle hypothesis, using data from industrialized countries for the time period since 1960. The hypothesis is characterized by the view that the cyclical structure in GDP is concentrated in the investment series: fixed investment has typically a long cycle, while the cycle in inventory investment is shorter. To check the robustness of our results, we subject the data for 15 OECD countries to a variety of detrending techniques. While the hypothesis is not confirmed uniformly for all countries, there is a considerably high number for which the data display the predicted pattern. None of the countries shows a pattern which can be interpreted as a clear rejection of the classical hypothesis.
business cycles, investment cycles, spectral tests
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