Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Joint committee on business and financial analysis Abstract:
This paper proposes a simple method for guiding researchers in developing quantitative models of economic fluctuations. We show that a large class of models, including models with various frictions, are equivalent to a prototype growth model with time varying wedges that, at least on face value, look like time-varying productivity, labor taxes, and capital income taxes. We label the time varying wedges as efficiency wedges, labor wedges, and investment wedges. We use data to measure these wedges and then feed them back into the prototype growth model. We then assess the fraction of fluctuations accounted for by these wedges during the great depressions of the 1930s in the United States, Germany, and Canada. We find that the efficiency and labor wedges in combination account for essentially all of the declines and subsequent recoveries. Investment wedge plays at best a minor role.
Stichwort: Business cycle, Cycle, Economic fluctuations, Fluctuation, and Growth Fach: O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, O47 - Economic growth and aggregate productivity - Measurement of economic growth ; Aggregate productivity ; Cross-country output convergence, and E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles
Creator: Krusell, Per and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
Some economic policies and regulations seem to have only one purpose: to prevent technological development and economic growth from occurring. In this paper, we attempt to rationalize such policies as outcomes of voting equilibria. In our environment, some agents will be worse off if the economy grows, since their skills are complementary to resources that can be allocated to growth-stimulating activities. In the absence of arrangements where votes are traded, we show that for some initial skill distributions, the economy may stagnate due to growth-preventing policies. Different initial skill distributions, however, lead to voting outcomes and policies in support of technological development, and to persistent economic growth. In making our argument formally, we use a dynamic model with induced heterogeneity in agents' skills. In their voting decisions, agents compare how they will be affected under each policy alternative, and then vote for the policy that maximizes their welfare.
Fach: O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models and O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
Creator: Rivera-Batiz, Luis and Romer, Paul Michael, 1955- Series: Modeling North American economic integration Abstract:
In a world with two similar, developed economies, economic integration can cause a permanent increase in the worldwide rate of growth. Starting from a position of isolations, closer integration can be achieved by increasing trade in goods or by increasing flows of ideas. We consider two models with different specifications of the research and development sector that is the source of growth. Either form of integration can increase the long-run rate of growth if it encourages the worldwide exploitation of increasing returns to scale in the research and development sector.
Fach: F15 - Economic Integration, F43 - Economic Growth of Open Economies, and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Azariadis, Costas and Smith, Bruce D. (Bruce David), 1954-2002 Series: Finance, fluctuations, and development Abstract:
We study a variant of the one-sector neoclassical growth model of Diamond in which capital investment must be credit financed, and an adverse selection problem appears in loan markets. The result is that the unfettered operation of credit markets leads to a one-dimensional indeterminacy of equilibrium. Many equilibria display economic fluctuations which do not vanish asymptotically; such equilibria are characterized by transitions between a Walrasian regime in which the adverse selection problem does not matter, and a regime of credit rationing in which it does. Moreover, for some configurations of parameters, all equilibria display such transitions for two reasons. One, the banking system imposes ceilings on credit when the economy expands and floors when it contracts because the quality of public information about the applicant pool of potential borrowers is negatively correlated with the demand for credit. Two, depositors believe that returns on bank deposits will be low (or high): these beliefs lead them to transfer savings out of (into) the banking system and into less (more) productive uses. The associated disintermediation (or its opposite) causes banks to contract (expand) credit. The result is a set of equilibrium interest rates on loans that validate depositors' original beliefs. We investigate the existence of perfect foresight equilibria displaying periodic (possibly asymmetric) cycles that consist of m periods of expansion followed by n periods of contraction, and propose an algorithm that detects all such cycles.
Stichwort: Equilibrium, Business cycles, Credit markets, and Interest rates Fach: E51 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Money supply ; Credit ; Money multipliers, E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles, O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, and E44 - Money and interest rates - Financial markets and the macroeconomy
Creator: Kahn, James A. (James Allan) and Lim, Jong-Soo Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
This paper analyzes the political economy of growth as an issue of intergenerational distribution. The first part of the paper develops a model of endogenous growth via human capital accumulation in an overlapping generations setting. Equilibrium growth is inefficient due to the presence of an intergenerational externality. We characterize the set of Pareto efficient paths for physical and human capital accumulation, and find that there is a continuum of efficient growth rate-interest rate combinations. The preferred combination for an infinitely-lived planner will depend on the social discount rate. Competitive equilibrium with subsidized or mandated human capital accumulation may give rise to a Pareto efficient steady state, though for some parameters efficiency requires some intergenerational redistribution. We then argue that a social planner or government with an infinite horizon is incongruous in an OG model when the agents all have finite horizons. Hence the second part of the paper addresses the question of how a government whose decisionmakers reflect the finite horizons of their constituents would choose policies that affect physical and human capital accumulation. Specifically we assume that each government maximizes a weighted sum of utilities of those currently alive. Each period the government selects a policy that takes into account the effect (through state variables) on subsequent policy decisions (and hence on the welfare of the current young generation). Numerical methods involving polynomial approximations are used to compute equilibria under specific parametric assumptions. Equilibrium growth rates turn out to be substantially below efficient rates.
Stichwort: Education, Growth, Political economy, Political instability, and Markov equilibrium Fach: D72 - Analysis of collective decision-making - Models of political processes : Rent-seeking, elections, legislatures, and voting behavior, O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, and D91 - Intertemporal choice and growth - Intertemporal consumer choice ; Life cycle models and saving
Creator: Bertola, Giuseppe Series: Economic growth and development Abstract:
This paper proposes a model of diversifiable uncertainty, irreversible investment decisions, and endogenous growth. The detailed microeconomic structure of the model makes it possible to study the. general equilibrium effects of obstacles to labor mobility, due to institutional as well as technological features of the economy. Labor mobility costs reduce private returns to investment, and the resulting slower rate of endogenous growth unambiguously lowers a representative individual's welfare. Turnover costs can have positive effects on full employment equilibrium wages when all external effects are disregarded: this may help explain why policy and institutions often tend to decrease labor mobility in reality, rather than to enhance it. Lower flexibility, however, reduces the growth rate of wages in endogenous growth equilibrium, with negative welfare effects even for agents who own only labor.
Fach: E25 - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution, E24 - Macroeconomics : Consumption, saving, production, employment, and investment - Employment ; Unemployment ; Wages ; Intergenerational income distribution ; Aggregate human capital, and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Caselli, Francesco, 1966- and Coleman, Wilbur John Series: Productivity and the industrial revolution Abstract:
The process by which per capita income in the South converged to northern levels is intimately related to the structural transformation of the U.S. economy. We find that empirically most of the southern gains are attributable to the nation-wide convergence of agricultural wages to non-agricultural wages, and the faster rate of transition of the Southern labor force from agricultural to non-agricultural jobs. Similar results describe the Mid-West's catch up to the North-East (but not the relative experience of the West). To explain these observations, we construct a model in which the South (Mid-West) has a comparative advantage in producing unskilled-labor intensive agricultural goods. Thus, it starts with a disproportionate share of the unskilled labor force and lower per capita incomes. Over time, declining education/training costs induce an increasing proportion of the labor force to move out of the (unskilled) agricultural sector and into the (skilled) non-agricultural sector. The decline in the agricultural labor force leads to an increase in relative agricultural wages. Both effects benefit the South (Mid-West) disproportionately since it has more agricultural workers. The model successfully matches the quantitative features of the U.S. structural transformation and regional convergence, as well as several other stylized facts on U.S. economic growth in the last century. The model does not rely on frictions on factor mobility, since in our empirical work we find this channel to be less important than the compositional effects the model emphasizes.
Stichwort: Regional economies, Agricultural and non-agricultural workers, Skill acquisition, Regional convergence, and Structural transformation Fach: O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, O18 - Economic development - Regional, urban, and rural analyses, and O14 - Economic development - Industrialization ; Manufacturing and service industries ; Choice of technology
Creator: Backus, David, Kehoe, Patrick J., and Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- Series: Modeling North American economic integration Abstract:
We look for the scale effects on growth predicted by some theories of trade and growth based on dynamic returns to scale at the national or industry level. The increasing returns can arise from learning by doing, investment in human capital, research and development, or development of new products. We find some evidence of a relation between growth rates and the measures of scale implied by the learning by doing theory, especially total manufacturing. With respect to human capital, there is some evidence of a relation between growth rates and per capita measures of inputs into the human capital accumulation process, but little evidence of a relation with the scale of inputs. There is also little evidence that growth rates are related to measures of inputs into R&D. We find, however, that growth rates are related to measures of intra-industry trade, particularly when we control for scale of industry.
Stichwort: External effects, Intra-industry trade, Specialization indexes, Increasing returns to scale, Learning by doing, Research and development, Human capital, and International trade Fach: F43 - Economic Growth of Open Economies and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Segerstrom, Paul Stephen, 1957- Series: Economic growth and development Abstract:
This paper develops a dynamic general equilibrium model of economic growth. The model has a steady state equilibrium in which some firms devote resources to discovering qualitatively improved products and other firms devote resources to copying these products. Rates of both innovation and imitation are endogenously determined based on the outcomes of R&D races between firms. Innovation subsidies are shown to unambiguously promote economic growth. Welfare is only enhanced however if the steady state intensity of innovative effort exceeds a critical level.
Fach: O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models and O31 - Technological change ; Research and development - Innovation and invention : Processes and incentives
Creator: Coleman, Wilbur John Series: Nonlinear rational expectations modeling group Abstract:
A cash-in-advance constraint on consumption is incorporated into a standard model of consumption and capital accumulation. Monetary policy consists of lump-sum cash transfers. Methods are developed for establishing the existence and uniqueness of an equilibrium. and for explicitly constructing this equilibrium. The model economy's dependence on monetary policy is explored.
Also published in the International Finance Discussion Paper series, number 323.
Stichwort: Planned Growth economy, Monetary Growth economy, and Equilibrium Fach: O42 - Economic growth and aggregate productivity - Monetary growth models, E31 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Price level ; Inflation ; Deflation, O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, and E52 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - Monetary policy
Creator: Chang, Roberto Series: Conference on economics and politics Abstract:
This paper examines the determination of the rate of growth in an economy in which two political parties, each representing a different social class, negotiate the magnitude and allocation of taxes. Taxes may increase growth if they finance public services, but reduce growth when used to redistribute income between classes. The different social classes have different preferences about growth and redistribution. The resulting conflict is resolved through the tax negotiations between the political parties. I use the model to obtain empirical predictions and policy lessons about the relationship between economic growth and income inequality. In particular, I show that, although differences in growth rates across countries may be negatively related to income inequality, redistributing wealth does not enhance growth.
Fach: D72 - Analysis of collective decision-making - Models of political processes : Rent-seeking, elections, legislatures, and voting behavior and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Benhabib, Jess, 1948- and Rustichini, Aldo Series: Economic growth and development Abstract:
In this paper we study the relationship between wealth, income distribution and growth in a game-theoretic context in which property rights are not completely enforcable. We consider equilibrium paths of accumulation which yield players utilities that are at least as high as those that they could obtain by appropriating higher consumption at the present and suffering retaliation later on. We focus on those subgame perfect equilibria which are constrained Pareto-efficient (second best). In this set of equilibria we study how the level of wealth affects growth. In particular we consider cases which produce classical traps (with standard concave technologies): growth may not be possible from low levels of wealth because of incentive constraints while policies (sometimes even first-best policies) that lead to growth are sustainable as equilibria from high levels of wealth. We also study cases which we classify as the "Mancur Olson" type: first best policies are used at low levels of wealth along these constrained Pareto efficient equilibria, but first best policies are not sustainable at higher levels of wealth where growth slows down. We also consider the unequal weighting of players to ace the subgame perfect equiliria on the constrained Pareto frontier. We explore the relation between sustainable growth rates and the level of inequality in the distribution of income.
Stichwort: Economic growth, Conflict, and Equilibria Fach: D74 - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Laitner, John Series: Productivity and the industrial revolution Abstract:
This paper presents a model in which a country's average propensity to save tends to rise endogenously over time. The paper uses a two-sector neoclassical framework to model the transition from agriculture to manufacturing which typically accompanies economic development. Key assumptions are that only the agricultural sector uses land and a simple version of Engel's law. When a country's income per capita is low, agricultural consumption is important; consequently, land is valuable and capital gains on it may account for most wealth accumulation, making the NIPA APS appear low. If exogenous technological progress raises incomes over time, Engel's law shifts demand to manufactured goods. Then land's importance in portfolios relative to reproducible capital diminishes and the measured average propensity to save can rise.
Stichwort: Growth, Manufacturing, and Economic growth Fach: O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models and O14 - Economic development - Industrialization ; Manufacturing and service industries ; Choice of technology
Creator: Parente, Stephen L. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Economic growth and development Abstract:
Technology change is modeled as the result of decisions of individuals and groups of individuals to adopt more advanced technologies. The structure is calibrated to the U.S. and postwar Japan growth experiences. Using this calibrated structure we explore how large the disparity in the effective tax rates on the returns to adopting technologies must be to account for the huge observed disparity in per capita income across countries. We find that this disparity is not implausibly large.
Fach: O33 - Technological change ; Research and development - Technological change : Choices and consequences ; Diffusion processes and O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
Creator: Chari, V. V. and Hopenhayn, Hugo Andres Series: Models of economic growth and development Abstract:
We present a model of vintage human capital. The economy exhibits exogenous deterministic technological change. Technology requires skills that are specific to the vintage. A stationary competitive equilibrium is defined and shown to exist and be unique, as well as Pareto optimal. The stationary equilibrium is characterized by an endogenous distribution of skilled workers across vintages. The distribution is shown to be single peaked, and under general conditions there is a lag between the time when a technology appears and the peak of its usage, what is known as diffusion. An increase in the rate of exogenous technological charge shirts the distribution of human capital to more recent vintages and increases the relative wage of the unskilled workers in each vintage.
Fach: O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models, J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity, and O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives