Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 364 Abstract:
The central finding of the recent structural vector autoregression (SVAR) literature with a differenced specification of hours is that technology shocks lead to a fall in hours. Researchers have used this finding to argue that real business cycle models are unpromising. We subject this SVAR specification to a natural economic test and show that when applied to data from a multiple-shock business cycle model, the procedure incorrectly concludes that the model could not have generated the data as long as demand shocks play a nontrivial role. We also test another popular specification, which uses the level of hours, and show that with nontrivial demand shocks, it cannot distinguish between real business cycle models and sticky price models. The crux of the problem for both SVAR specifications is that available data require a VAR with a small number of lags and such a VAR is a poor approximation to the model’s VAR.
Keyword: Vector autoregressions, Real business cycle, Impulse response, and Technology shocks Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, C51 - Model Construction and Estimation, E20 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy: General (includes Measurement and Data), E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data), E37 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications, and C32 - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models: Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
Creator: Azariadis, Costas, Bullard, James, and Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 255 Abstract:
Autoregressions of quarterly or annual aggregate time series provide evidence of trend-reverting output growth and of short-term dynamic adjustment that appears to be governed by complex eigenvalues. This finding is at odds with the predictions of reasonably parameterized, convex one-sector growth models, most of which have positive real characteristic roots. We study a class of one-sector economies, overlapping generations with finite life spans of L greater than or equal to 3, in which aggregate saving depends nontrivially on the distribution of wealth among cohorts. If consumption goods are weak gross substitutes near the steady state price vector, we prove that the unique equilibrium of a life cycle exchange economy converges to the unique steady state via damped oscillations. We also conjecture that this form of trend reversion extends to production economies with a relatively flat factor-price frontier, and we test this conjecture in several plausible parameterizations of 55-period life cycle economies.
Keyword: Economies, Eigenvalues, Life cycle, and Cyclical fluctuations Subject (JEL): E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J. and Midrigan, Virgiliu Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 413 Abstract:
Recent studies say prices change about every four months. Economists have interpreted this high frequency as evidence against the importance of sticky prices for the real effects of monetary policy. Theory implies that this interpretation is correct if most price changes are regular, but not if most are temporary, as in the data. Temporary changes have a striking feature: after such a change, the nominal price tends to return exactly to its preexisting level. We study versions of Calvo and menu cost models that replicate this feature. Both models predict that the degree of aggregate price stickiness is determined mostly by the frequency of regular price changes, not by the combined frequency of temporary and regular price changes. Since regular prices are sticky in the data, the models predict a substantial degree of aggregate price stickiness even though micro prices change frequently. In particular, the aggregate price level in our models is as sticky as in standard models in which micro prices change about once a year. In this sense, prices are sticky after all.
Keyword: Sticky prices, Menu costs, and Sales Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data), and E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
Creator: Bryant, John B. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 099 Abstract:
This paper presents a monetarist model of the business cycle with price-setting firms. The model is estimated, and the point estimates used in simulations to illustrate the properties of the model. The real goods market is found to be stable, although subject to sharp changes in output. This model is consistent with rational expectations. Nevertheless, monetary policy can have a lasting impact, and the simulations show this to be the case. Fiscal policy too is found to influence the business cycle, but its short-run effects are substantially smaller than its impact effects. The possibility of an activist government policy in this model does not imply the efficiency of an activist policy.
Keyword: Real goods market, Inventory cycle, Rational expectations, and Disequilibrium Subject (JEL): G31 - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies; Capacity and E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Chahrour, Ryan and Stevens, Lacramioara Luminita Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 522 Abstract:
We develop a model of equilibrium price dispersion via retailer search and show that the degree of market segmentation within and across countries cannot be separately identified by good-level price data alone. We augment a set of well-known empirical facts about the failure of the law of one price with data on aggregate intranational and international trade quantities, and calibrate the model to match price and quantity facts simultaneously. The calibrated model matches the data very well and implies that within-country markets are strongly segmented, while international borders contribute virtually no additional market segmentation.
Keyword: Law of one price, Border effect, and Real exchange rate Subject (JEL): E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data), F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, and F30 - International Finance: General
Creator: Christiano, Lawrence J., Eichenbaum, Martin S., and Evans, Charles, 1958- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 227 Abstract:
We provide new evidence that models of the monetary transmission mechanism should be consistent with at least the following facts. After a contractionary monetary policy shock, the aggregate price level responds very little, aggregate output falls, interest rates initially rise, real wages decline by a modest amount, and profits fall. We compare the ability of sticky price and limited participation models with frictionless labor markets to account for these facts. The key failing of the sticky price model lies in its counterfactual implications for profits. The limited participation model can account for all the above facts, but only if one is willing to assume a high labor supply elasticity (2 percent) and a high markup (40 percent). The shortcomings of both models reflect the absence of labor market frictions, such as wage contracts or factor hoarding, which dampen movements in the marginal cost of production after a monetary policy shock.
Keyword: Mechanism, Prices, Credit, and Monetary transmission Subject (JEL): E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Wallace, Neil Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 568 Abstract:
Using an existing random matching model of money, I show that a once-for-all change in the quantity of money has short-run effects that are predominantly real and long-run effects that are in the direction of being predominantly nominal provided (i) the quantity of money is random and (ii) people learn about what happened to it only with a lag. The change in the quantity of money comes about through a random process of discovery that does not permit anyone to deduce the aggregate amount discovered when the change actually occurs.
Subject (JEL): E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data)
Creator: Arellano, Cristina, Bai, Yan, and Mihalache, Gabriel Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 555 Abstract:
Sovereign debt crises are associated with large and persistent declines in economic activity, disproportionately so for nontradable sectors. This paper documents this pattern using Spanish data and builds a two-sector dynamic quantitative model of sovereign default with capital accumulation. Recessions are very persistent in the model and more pronounced for nontraded sectors because of default risk. An adverse domestic shock increases the likelihood of default, limits capital inﬂows, and thus restricts the ability of the economy to exploit investment opportunities. The economy responds by reducing investment and reallocating capital toward the traded sector to support debt service payments. The real exchange rate depreciates, a reﬂection of the scarcity of traded goods. We ﬁnd that these mechanisms are quantitatively important for rationalizing the experience of Spain during the recent debt crisis.
Keyword: Sovereign default with production economy, Capital accumulation, Traded and nontraded production, European debt crisis, and Real exchange rate Subject (JEL): E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data) and F30 - International Finance: General
Creator: Anderson, Eric, Malin, Benjamin A., Nakamura, Emi, Simester, Duncan, and Steinsson, Jón, 1976- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 513 Abstract:
We use unique price data to study how retailers react to underlying cost changes. Temporary sales account for 95% of price changes in our data. Simple models would, therefore, suggest that temporary sales play a central role in price responses to cost shocks. We find, however, that, in response to a wholesale cost increase, the entire increase in retail prices comes through regular price increases. Sales actually respond temporarily in the opposite direction from regular prices, as though to conceal the price hike. Additional evidence from responses to commodity cost and local unemployment shocks, as well as broader evidence from BLS data reinforces these findings. We present institutional evidence that sales are complex contingent contracts, determined substantially in advance. We show theoretically that these institutional practices leave little money “on the table”: in a price-discrimination model of sales, dynamically adjusting the size of sales yields only a tiny increase in profits.
Keyword: Retail Sales, Regular Retail Prices, and Trade Deals Subject (JEL): M30 - Marketing and Advertising: General, E30 - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles: General (includes Measurement and Data), and L11 - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms