Synchronization of world economic activity

Article published in Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science – September 2017

Common dynamical properties of business cycle fluctuations are studied in a sample of more than 100 countries that represent economic regions from all around the world. We apply the methodology of multivariate singular spectrum analysis (M-SSA) to identify oscillatory modes and to detect whether these modes are shared by clusters of phase- and frequency-locked oscillators. An extension of the M-SSA approach is introduced to help analyze structural changes in the cluster configuration of synchronization. With this novel technique, we are able to identify a common mode of business cycle activity across our sample, and thus point to the existence of a world business cycle. Superimposed on this mode, we further identify several major events that have markedly influenced the landscape of world economic activity in the postwar era.

> Download the initial working paper (March 2017)
> Buy online the published article (Sept. 2017)

Michael Ghil was a research associate to the Chair Energy and Prosperity until 2019.