• C32;
  • E32
  • unobserved components;
  • trend;
  • cycle;
  • identification;
  • Great Moderation

This paper seeks to determine the causal interaction between structural trend and cycle innovations in an unobserved components framework of aggregate output. For the purpose of identification, I propose allowing for shifts in volatility. This strategy provides good estimation precision when applied to U.S. industrial production. In the early 1980s, predominance of cycle shocks gives way to strong negative spillovers of trend impulses, consistent with real business cycle theories. The coincident reduction of macroeconomic volatility was mainly caused by pronounced dampening of transitory disturbances. This is in accordance with an important role of macroeconomic policy in explaining the Great Moderation.