RDP 2005-08: Declining Output Volatility: What Role for Structural Change? Appendix B: Data Descriptions, Sources and Summary Figures

Real GDP

Real GDP non-seasonally adjusted, from Datastream (originally from national statistical offices). The exceptions are: Australia – National Income Expenditure and Product, ABS Cat No 5206.0; Austria – OECD Main Economic Indicators (MEI) sourced from Datastream; Belgium – Banque Nationale de Belgique sourced from Datastream; France – Eurostat; Japan – Cabinet Office sourced from Datastream, series prior to March 1980 spliced using the old SNA68 framework. The following countries’ series are seasonally adjusted: Canada; Portugal; UK; US. All data for which historical data are not available were then spliced on real GDP, sourced from the World Bank World Development Indicators (WDI). The splice dates are: 1974 – Finland; 1976 – Netherlands; 1977 – France and Norway; 1979 – Belgium, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland; 1985 – Portugal; 1987 – Austria, Denmark and NZ; 1990 – Germany; 1994 – Ireland.

Product market regulations

From Nicoletti et al (2001). Countries are classified on a 0–6 scale from least to most restrictive for each regulatory and market feature of each industry: airlines, railways, road, gas, electricity, post and telecommunications. Dependent on the industry, the features covered are: barriers to entry, public ownership, market structure, vertical integration and price controls. Aggregate indicators for each country are simple averages of indicators for the seven industries. These data are separate to the commonly cited economy-wide indicators, which are only available for 1998 and 2003 (Nicoletti et al 1999; Conway, Janod and Nicoletti 2005). Nicoletti and Scarpetta (2003) suggest that reforms in the seven industries are representative of economy-wide regulations.

Working days lost to labour disputes per thousand employed

Constructed from the number of working days lost (from the International Labour Organisation) and the level of employment. The exceptions are: Australia – MEI; Belgium – Eurostat; Canada – MEI; France – Eurostat; Germany – data from 1993 from Eurostat; Netherlands – Eurostat; US – MEI. Employment data from OECD Economic Outlook, sourced from Datastream.

Monetary policy regime

Dummy variable equal to 1 if strict(er) on inflation, 0 otherwise. Germany, Japan and Switzerland are assumed to have always been strict on inflation (Hyvonen 2004). For others, the strict regime is deemed to begin with entry to Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) (or other fixing to Deutschemark; Artis and Lee 1994; Eichengreen 1997; Hyvonen 2004; Kenen 1995; Liebscher 2005), euro-area membership (in 1999) or adoption of inflation targeting (IT): Australia – IT adopted in 1993 (Stevens 2003); Austria – in ERM 1995–1999; Belgium – in ERM 1979–1999; Canada – IT adopted 1992; Denmark – in ERM 1979–1992, 1992– 1998 fixed exchange rate against Deutschemark (Andersen 2000); Finland – IT from 1994–1999; France – in ERM 1979–1999; Ireland – in ERM 1979–1999; Italy – in ERM 1979–1992; Netherlands – in ERM 1979–1999; NZ – adopted IT in 1990; Norway – adopted IT in 2000; Portugal – in ERM 1992–1999; Spain – in ERM 1989–1994, adopted IT from 1995–1998; Sweden – adopted IT in 1995; UK – in ERM 1990–1992 (Nelson 2000 and Hyvonen 2004), adopted IT in 1993; US – 1979 Volcker disinflation (Bordo and Schwartz 1997).


Based on the Consumer Price Index (from the WDI). Exceptions are for Australia – CPI less interest charges prior to the September quarter 1998 and adjusted for the tax changes of 1999–2000 (RBA calculations) and Germany, which is sourced from the national statistics office via Datastream.

Oil price volatility

From 1982, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices expressed in SDRs, sourced from Bloomberg. Earlier data reflect the IMF measure of oil prices (from the International Financial Statistics (IFS)).

Financial liberalisation (ratio of credit to GDP)

Domestic credit, claims on private sector, from national sources and the IFS. Exceptions are: Australia – total credit, sourced from RBA; Canada – total household and business credit; France – loans to private sector; NZ – total private-sector credit; Norway – credit to households; UK – bank and building society lending; US – liabilities, credit market instruments. Domestic credit to private sector, sourced from the WDI, was spliced onto these when historical data were unavailable. Splice dates are: 1985 – Portugal; 1987 – Austria, Belgium and NZ. Nominal GDP data are from national statistics offices via Datastream. The exceptions are: Australia – National Income Expenditure and Product, ABS Cat No 5206.0; Belgium – Banque Nationale de Belgique sourced from Datastream; Finland – Eurostat sourced from Datastream; Germany – Deutsche Bundesbank; Japan – Cabinet office sourced from Datastream; Switzerland – Seco State Secretariat-Economic Affairs.

Openness (ratio of exports and imports to GDP)

Trade data, sourced from the OECD Economic Outlook (EO). Exceptions are: Australia – National Income Expenditure and Product, ABS Cat No 5206.0; France – national statistics office; Germany – Deutsche Bundesbank; UK – national statistics office; US – Bureau of Economic Analysis. Nominal GDP data sourced from EO. The exceptions are: Australia – National Income Expenditure and Product, ABS Cat No 5206.0; Austria – national statistics office; Canada – national statistics office; Germany – Deutsche Bundesbank; Portugal – national statistics office; Sweden – national statistics office; UK – national statistics office; US – Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Fiscal policy

Cyclically-adjusted government primary balance as a percentage to GDP. Sourced from EO.

Figure B1: GDP Inflation Volatility (in percentage points), Product Market Regulations Index, and Monetary Policy Regime Dummy, Five-year Block Data