Creator: Jones, Larry E., Manuelli, Rodolfo E., and Siu, Henry E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 271 Abstract:
We present a class of convex endogenous growth models and analyze their performance in terms of both growth and business cycle criteria. The models we study have close analogs in the real business cycle literature. We interpret the exogenous growth rate of productivity as an endogenous growth rate of human capital. This perspective allows us to compare the strengths of the two classes of models.
To highlight the mechanism that gives endogenous growth models the ability to improve upon their exogenous growth relatives, we study models that are symmetric in terms of human and physical capital formation—our two engines of growth. More precisely, we analyze models in which the technology used to produce human capital is identical to the technologies used to produce consumption and investment goods and in which the technology shocks in the two sectors are perfectly correlated.
Subject (JEL): D90 - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics: General and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
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).)
Keyword: Capacity utilization, Sticky prices, Sticky wages, Equivalence theorems, Productivity decline, Financial frictions, and Great Depression Subject (JEL): E12 - General Aggregative Models: Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian and E10 - General Aggregative Models: General
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.
Keyword: 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 Subject (JEL): D10 - Household Behavior: General and D40 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: General
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 494 Abstract:
During the downturn of 2008–2009, output and hours fell significantly while labor productivity rose. These facts have led many to conclude that there is a significant deviation between observations and current macrotheories that assume business cycles are driven, at least in part, by fluctuations in total factor productivities of firms. We show that once investment in intangible capital is included in the analysis, there is no inconsistency. Measured labor productivity rises if the fall in output is underestimated; this occurs when there are large unmeasured intangible investments. Microevidence suggests that these investments are large and cyclically important.
Keyword: Intangible capital, Productivity, and Business cycles Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical
Creator: Braun, R. Anton and Evans, Charles, 1958- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 168 Abstract:
We consider a dynamic, stochastic equilibrium business cycle model which is augmented to reflect seasonal shifts in preferences, technology, and government purchases. Our estimated parameterization implies implausibly large seasonal variation in the state of technology: rising at an annual rate of 24% in the fourth quarter and falling at an annual rate of 28% in the first quarter. Furthermore, our findings indicate that variation in the state of technology of this magnitude is required if the model is to explain the main features of the seasonal cycle.
Keyword: Solow residuals, Real business cycle, and Seasonality Subject (JEL): E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data) and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
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: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 217 Abstract:
We construct a quantitative equilibrium model with price setting and use it to ask whether with staggered price setting monetary shocks can generate business cycle fluctuations. These fluctuations include persistent output fluctuations along with the other defining features of business cycles, like volatile investment and smooth consumption. We assume that prices are exogenously sticky for a short period of time. Persistent output fluctuations require endogenous price stickiness in the sense that firms choose not to change prices very much when they can do so. We find that for a wide range of parameter values the amount of endogenous stickiness is small. As a result, we find that in a standard quantitative business cycle model staggered price setting, by itself, does not generate business cycle fluctuations.
Keyword: Monetary business cycles, Staggered price-setting, and Endogenous price stickiness
Creator: Backus, David and Kehoe, Patrick J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 145 Abstract:
We document properties of business cycles in ten countries over the last hundred years, contrasting the behavior of real quantities with that of the price level and the stock of money. Although the magnitude of output fluctuations has varied across countries and periods, relations among variables have been remarkably uniform. Consumption has generally been about as variable as output, and investment substantially more variable, and both have been strongly procyclical. The trade balance has generally been countercyclical. The exception to this regularity is government purchases, which exhibit no systematic cyclical tendency. With respect to the size of output fluctuations, standard deviations are largest between the two world wars. In some countries (notably Australia and Canada) they are substantially larger prior to World War I than after World War II, but in others (notably Japan and the United Kingdom) there is little difference between these periods. Properties of price levels, in contrast, exhibit striking differences between periods. Inflation rates are more persistent after World War II than before, and price level fluctuations are typically procyclical before World War II, countercyclical afterward. We find no general tendency toward increased persistence in money growth rates, but find that fluctuations in money are less highly correlated with output in the postwar period.
Subject (JEL): E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 494 Keyword: Business cycles, Intangible capital, and Productivity Subject (JEL): E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles and E13 - General aggregative models - Neoclassical
Creator: Thomas, Julia Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 302 Abstract:
Previous research has suggested that discrete and occasional plant-level capital adjustments have significant aggregate implications. In particular, it has been argued that changes in plants’ willingness to invest in response to aggregate shocks can at times generate large movements in total investment demand. In this study, I re-assess these predictions in a general equilibrium environment. Specifically, assuming nonconvex costs of capital adjustment, I derive generalized (S,s) adjustment rules yielding lumpy plant-level investment within an otherwise standard equilibrium business cycle model. In contrast to previous partial equilibrium analyses, model results reveal that the aggregate effects of lumpy investment are negligible. In general equilibrium, households’ preference for relatively smooth consumption profiles offsets changes in aggregate investment demand implied by the introduction of lumpy plant-level investment. As a result, adjustments in wages and interest rates yield quantity dynamics that are virtually indistinguishable from the standard model.
Keyword: Business Cycles, Lumpy Investment, and (S,s) Adjustment Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and E22 - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity