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Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 406 Abstract:
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimates the return on investments of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. multinational companies over the period 1982–2006 averaged 9.4 percent annually after taxes; U.S. subsidiaries of foreign multinationals averaged only 3.2 percent. Two factors distort BEA returns: technology capital and plant-specific intangible capital. Technology capital is accumulated know-how from intangible investments in R&D, brands, and organizations that can be used in foreign and domestic locations. Used abroad, it generates profits for foreign subsidiaries with no foreign direct investment (FDI). Plant-specific intangible capital in foreign subsidiaries is expensed abroad, lowering current profits on FDI and increasing future profits. We develop a multicountry general equilibrium model with an essential role for FDI and apply the BEA’s methodology to construct economic statistics for the model economy. We estimate that mismeasurement of intangible investments accounts for over 60 percent of the difference in BEA returns.
Assujettir: F32 - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements and F23 - Multinational Firms; International Business
Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 328 Abstract:
We propose a simple method to help researchers develop quantitative models of economic fluctuations. The method rests on the insight that many models are equivalent to a prototype growth model with time-varying wedges which resemble productivity, labor and investment taxes, and government consumption. Wedges corresponding to these variables—efficiency, labor, investment, and government consumption wedges—are measured and then fed back into the model in order to assess the fraction of various fluctuations they account for. Applying this method to U.S. data for the Great Depression and the 1982 recession reveals that the efficiency and labor wedges together account for essentially all of the fluctuations; the investment wedge plays a decidedly tertiary role, and the government consumption wedge, none. Analyses of the entire postwar period and alternative model specifications support these results. Models with frictions manifested primarily as investment wedges are thus not promising for the study of business cycles. (See Additional Material for a response to Christiano and Davis (2006).)
Mot-clé: Capacity utilization, Sticky prices, Sticky wages, Equivalence theorems, Productivity decline, Financial frictions, and Great Depression Assujettir: E12 - General Aggregative Models: Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian and E10 - General Aggregative Models: General
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 294 Abstract:
Many stock market analysts think that in 1929, at the time of the crash, stocks were overvalued. Irving Fisher argued just before the crash that fundamentals were strong and the stock market was undervalued. In this paper, we use growth theory to estimate the fundamental value of corporate equity and compare it to actual stock valuations. Our estimate is based on values of productive corporate capital, both tangible and intangible, and tax rates on corporate income and distributions. The evidence strongly suggests that Fisher was right. Even at the 1929 peak, stocks were undervalued relative to the prediction of theory.
Assujettir: N22 - Economic History: Financial Markets and Institutions: U.S.; Canada: 1913-, E62 - Fiscal Policy, and G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 309 Abstract:
We derive the quantitative implications of growth theory for U.S. corporate equity plus net debt over the period 1960–2001. There were large secular movements in corporate equity values relative to GDP, with dramatic declines in the 1970s and dramatic increases starting in the 1980s and continuing throughout the 1990s. During the same period, there was little change in the capital-output ratio or earnings share of output. We ask specifically whether the theory accounts for these observations. We find that it does, with the critical factor being changes in the U.S. tax and regulatory system. We find that the theory also accounts for the even larger movements in U.K. equity values relative to GDP in this period.
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 451 Abstract:
Previous studies of the U.S. Great Depression find that increased government spending and taxation contributed little to either the dramatic downturn or the slow recovery. These studies include only one type of capital taxation: a business profits tax. The contribution is much greater when the analysis includes other types of capital taxes. A general equilibrium model extended to include taxes on dividends, property, capital stock, and excess and undistributed profits predicts patterns of output, investment, and hours worked that are more like those in the 1930s than found in earlier studies. The greatest effects come from the increased taxes on corporate dividends and undistributed profits.
Assujettir: H25 - Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT), E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, and E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 315 Abstract:
There is much debate about the usefulness of the neoclassical growth model for assessing the macroeconomic impact of fiscal shocks. We test the theory using data from World War II, which is by far the largest fiscal shock in the history of the United States. We take observed changes in fiscal policy during the war as inputs into a parameterized, dynamic general equilibrium model and compare the values of all variables in the model to the actual values of these variables in the data. Our main finding is that the theory quantitatively accounts for macroeconomic activity during this big fiscal shock.
Mot-clé: Neoclassical Theory, World War II, and Fiscal Shocks Assujettir: E62 - Fiscal Policy and E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical
Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 362
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 370 Abstract:
Real business cycles are recurrent fluctuations in an economy’s incomes, products, and factor inputs—especially labor—that are due to nonmonetary sources. These sources include changes in technology, tax rates and government spending, tastes, government regulation, terms of trade, and energy prices. Most real business cycle (RBC) models are variants or extensions of a neoclassical growth model. One such prototype is introduced. It is then shown how RBC theorists, applying the methodology of Kydland and Prescott (Econometrica 1982), use theory to make predictions about actual time series. Extensions of the prototype model, current issues, and open questions are also discussed.
Mot-clé: Productivity shocks, Real business cycles, International business cycles, Home production, Household budget constraint, Competitive equilibrium, Labour-market search, Technology shocks, Stochastic growth models, Total factor productivity, Labour supply, Real exchange rates, Markov processes, Stabilization policies, and Research and development Assujettir: D10 - Household Behavior: General and D40 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: General
Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 384 Abstract:
We make three comparisons relevant for the business cycle accounting approach. We show that in theory, representing the investment wedge as a tax on investment is equivalent to representing this wedge as a tax on capital income as long as the probability distributions over this wedge in the two representations are the same. In practice, convenience dictates that the underlying probability distributions over the investment wedge are different in the two representations. Even so, the quantitative results under the two representations are essentially identical. We also compare our methodology, the CKM methodology, to an alternative one used in Christiano and Davis (2006) and by us in early incarnations of the business cycle accounting approach. We argue that the CKM methodology rests on more secure theoretical foundations. Finally, we show that the results from the VAR-style decomposition of Christiano and Davis reinforce the results of the business cycle decomposition of CKM.
Mot-clé: Equivalence results, Recession, Wedges, and Distortions Assujettir: E17 - General Aggregative Models: Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications, E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E65 - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and E47 - Money and Interest Rates: Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications