Background Note | HBS Case Collection | January 2009 (Revised January 2011)

The Great Moderation, Dead or Alive?

by Diego A. Comin


The Great Moderation is a significant decline in the volatility of fluctuations in most macroeconomic variables that the United States and other developed and developing economies have experienced at least since the mid-1980s. This case describes the basic facts, presents contending explanations, and explores the consequences of the Great Moderation for the likely amplitude of future business cycles.

Keywords: Volatility; Business Cycles; Macroeconomics; United States;


Comin, Diego A. "The Great Moderation, Dead or Alive?" Harvard Business School Background Note 709-023, January 2009. (Revised January 2011.)