Creator: Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 102 Abstract:
Recent developments in business cycle theory are reviewed. The principal finding is that the growth model, which was developed to account for the secular patterns in important economic aggregates, displays the business cycle phenomena once it incorporates the observed randomness in the rate of technological advance. The amplitudes and serial correlation properties of fluctuations in output and employment that the growth model predicts match those historically experienced in the United States. Further, the model continues to display the growth facts it was developed to explain.
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 100 Abstract:
The implications of a dynamic coalition production technology are explored. With this technology, coalitions produce the current period consumption good as well as coalition-specific capital which is embodied in young coalition members. The equilibrium allocation is efficient and displays constant growth rates, even though exogenous technological change is not a feature of the environment. Unlike the neoclassical growth model, policies which influence agents’ investment-consumption decisions affect not only the level of output, but also its constant growth rate. In addition to these growth entailments, the theory has equally important industrial organization implications. Specifically, in equilibrium there is no tendency for coalition (firm) size to regress to the mean or for the distribution of coalition sizes to become more disparate.
Creator: Boyd, John H. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 087 Abstract:
This paper studies an environment in which the investment opportunities of agents are private information and shows that financial intermediaries arise endogenously within that environment. It establishes that financial intermediaries are part of an efficient arrangement in the sense that they are needed to support the authors’ private information core allocations. These intermediaries, which are coalitions of agents, exhibit the following characteristics in equilibrium: they borrow from and lend to large groups of agents; they produce information about investment projects; and they issue claims that have different state contingent payoffs than claims issued by ultimate borrowers.
Creator: Mehra, Rajnish and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 081 Abstract:
Restrictions that general equilibrium theory place upon average returns are found to be strongly violated by the U.S. data in the 1889–1978 period. This result is robust to model specification and measurement problems. We conclude that equilibrium models which are not Arrow-Debreu economies are needed to rationalize the large average equity premium that prevailed during the last 90 years.
Creator: Hansen, Gary D. (Gary Duane) and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 257 Abstract:
A unified growth theory is developed that accounts for the roughly constant living standards displayed by world economies prior to 1800 as well as the growing living standards exhibited by modern industrial economies. Our theory also explains the industrial revolution, which is the transition from an era when per capita incomes are stagnant to one with sustained growth. We use a standard growth model with one good and two available technologies. The first, denoted the Malthus technology, requires land, labor, and reproducible capital as inputs. The second, denoted the Solow technology, does not require land. We show that in the early stages of development, only the Malthus technology is used, and, due to population growth, living standards are stagnant despite technological progress. Eventually, technological progress causes the Solow technology to become profitable, and both technologies are employed. In the limit, the economy behaves like a standard Solow growth model.
Subject (JEL): O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models and O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
Creator: İmrohoroglu, Ayşe Ökten and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 132 Abstract:
In this paper we analyze the efficacy of seignorage as a tax associated with various monetary arrangements in a computable general equilibrium model. For the economies examined, we find that seignorage tax is not a good one relative to a tax on labor income. If the after-tax real return is –5 percent, as it was in the 1974–1978 period, welfare is approximately 0.5 percent of consumption lower than it would be if the after-tax return were zero.
Creator: Prescott, Edward C. and Wessel, Ryan Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 562 Abstract:
Businesses hold large quantities of cash reserves, which have average returns well below their investments in tangible capital. Businesses do this because these monetary assets provide services. One implication is that money services is a factor of production in capital theoretic valuation equilibrium models. Our aggregate production function is consistent with both the classical demand for money function relationship and with extended periods of near zero short-term nominal interest rates. In our model economy, there is a 100 percent reserve requirement on all demand deposits. Demand deposits are legal tender. We find (i) money services in the production function necessitates revisions in the national accounts; (ii) monetary and fiscal policy cannot be completely separated; (iii) for a given policy, equilibrium is either unique or does not exist; and (iv) Friedman’s monetary satiation is not optimal. We make quantitative comparisons between interest rate targeting regimes and between inflation rate targeting regimes. The best inflation rate target was 2 percent.
Keyword: Interest rate targeting, Inflation rate targeting, Zero lower bound, Friedman monetary satiation, 100 percent reserve banking, and Money in production function Subject (JEL): E50 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: General, E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics: General, E40 - Money and Interest Rates: General, and E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 350 Abstract:
In this paper, we show that ignoring corporate intangible investments gives a distorted picture of the post-1990 U.S. economy. In particular, ignoring intangible investments in the late 1990s leads one to conclude that productivity growth was modest, corporate profits were low, and corporate investment was at moderate levels. In fact, the late 1990s was a boom period for productivity growth, corporate profits, and corporate investment.
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 534 Abstract:
Many countries are facing challenging fiscal financing issues as their populations age and the number of workers per retiree falls. Policymakers need transparent and robust analyses of alternative policies to deal with demographic changes. In this paper, we propose a simple framework that can easily be matched to aggregate data from the national accounts. We demonstrate the usefulness of our framework by comparing quantitative results for our aggregate model with those of a related model that includes within-age-cohort heterogeneity through productivity differences. When we assess proposals to switch from the current tax and transfer system in the United States to a mandatory saving-for-retirement system with no payroll taxation, we find that the aggregate predictions for the two models are close.
Keyword: Retirement, Medicare, Social Security, and Taxation Subject (JEL): H55 - Social Security and Public Pensions, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and I13 - Health Insurance, Public and Private