Synchronization and the Coupled Oscillator Model in International Business Cycles

Author Name IKEDA Yuichi  (Kyoto University) /AOYAMA Hideaki  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) /YOSHIKAWA Hiroshi  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. October 2013 13-E-089
Research Project Dynamics, Energy and Environment, and Growth of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises
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Synchronization in international business cycles attracts economists and physicists as an example of self-organization in the time domain. In economics, synchronization of the business cycles has been discussed using correlation coefficients between gross domestic product (GDP) time series. However, more definitive discussions using a suitable quantity describing the business cycles are needed. In this paper, we analyze the quarterly GDP time series for Australia, Canada, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States from Q2 1960 to Q1 2010 in order to obtain direct evidence for the synchronization and to clarify its origin. We find frequency entrainment and partial phase locking to be direct evidence of synchronization in international business cycles. Furthermore, a coupled limit-cycle oscillator model is developed to explain the mechanism of synchronization. In this model, the interaction due to international trade is interpreted as the origin of the synchronization.