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A Structural VAR Model of the New Zealand Business Cycle  - WP 02/26

Publication Details

  • A Structural VAR Model of the New Zealand Business Cycle
  • Published: Dec 2002
  • Status: Current
  • Authors: Buckle, Bob (Robert) A; Kim, Kunhong; Kirkham, Heather; McLellan, Nathan; Sharma, Jared
  • JEL Classification: C22; E44; F41
  • Hard copy: Available in HTML and PDF formats only.

A structural VAR model of the New Zealand business cycle

New Zealand Treasury Working Paper 02/26

Published: December 2002

Authors: Robert A Buckle, Kunhong Kim, Heather Kirkham, Nathan McLellan and Jared Sharma


This paper develops a new open economy structural VAR model of the New Zealand economy. The model adopts techniques introduced by Cushman and Zha (1997) and Dungey and Pagan (2000) to identify international and domestic shocks and dynamic responses to these shocks in a small open economy. The international variables are block exogenous and the model includes restrictions on contemporaneous and lagged variables. Novel features include the introduction of an expanded set of domestic financial variables not captured in previous New Zealand VAR models, the use of a forward looking Taylor Rule to identify monetary policy, and the introduction of a climate variable to capture the impact of climatic conditions on the business cycle. Key results to emerge are the significant influence of international variables on the New Zealand business cycle, the importance of separately identifying import price and export price shocks, and the significant influence of climate.

Table of Contents

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Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 Modelling approach

3 An open economy structural VAR model of the New Zealand economy

4 Macroeconomic responses to trade, financial and climate shocks

5 Historical analysis of the contributions to New Zealand business cycles: 1984 to 2002

6 Conclusions


twp02-26.pdf (544 KB) pp. 42

List of Tables

List of Figures


The model developed in this paper arose from the need within Treasury to better understand the forces that contribute to fluctuations in New Zealand’s GDP and to provide a basis for applying structural VAR modelling to other policy related issues. Michele Lloyd, Roger Ridley, Maryanne Aynsley, Mark Blackmore, Struan Little and Steve Cantwell have been instrumental in supporting this work. The authors thank John Creedy, Mardi Dungey, Arthur Grimes, David Hargreaves, Alfred Haug, Ozer Karagedikli, Adrian Pagan and Chris Plantier for helpful discussions and suggestions during the preparation of this paper. Comments from participants at a Treasury seminar held in June 2002, a Conference of the New Zealand Association of Economists held in June 2002, and a New Zealand Econometrics Study Group meeting held in August 2002 are gratefully acknowledged. Thanks are also due to Jenny Whalley for her assistance with the preparation of diagrams and formatting.


The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury. The paper is presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.

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