Creator: Guvenen, Fatih, Ozkan, Serdar, and Song, Jae Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 476 Abstract:
This paper studies the nature of business cycle variation in individual earnings risk using a confidential dataset from the U.S. Social Security Administration, which contains (uncapped) earnings histories for millions of individuals. The base sample is a nationally representative panel containing 10 percent of all U.S. males from 1978 to 2010. We use these data to decompose individual earnings growth during recessions into “between-group” and “within-group” components. We begin with the behavior of within-group shocks. Contrary to past research, we do not find the variance of idiosyncratic earnings shocks to be countercyclical. Instead, it is the left-skewness of shocks that is strongly countercyclical. That is, during recessions, the upper end of the shock distribution collapses—large upward earnings movements become less likely—whereas the bottom end expands—large drops in earnings become more likely. Thus, while the dispersion of shocks does not increase, shocks become more left-skewed and, hence, risky during recessions. Second, to study between-group differences, we group individuals based on several observable characteristics at the time a recession hits. One of these characteristics—the average earnings of an individual at the beginning of a business cycle episode—proves to be an especially good predictor of fortunes during a recession: prime-age workers that enter a recession with high average earnings suffer substantially less compared with those who enter with low average earnings (which is not the case during expansions). Finally, we find that the cyclical nature of earnings risk is dramatically different for the top 1 percent compared with all other individuals—even relative to those in the top 2 to 5 percent.
Stichwort: Idiosyncratic shocks, Factor structure, Countercyclical income risk, Skewness, and Administrative data Fach: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials, and J21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 694 Abstract:
Prior to the mid-1980s, labor productivity growth was a useful barometer of the U.S. economy’s performance: it was low when the economy was depressed and high when it was booming. Since then, labor productivity has become significantly less procyclical. In the recent downturn of 2008–2009, labor productivity actually rose as GDP plummeted. These facts have motivated the development of new business cycle theories because the conventional view is that they are inconsistent with existing business cycle theory. In this paper, we analyze recent events with existing theory and find that the labor productivity puzzle is much less of a puzzle than previously thought. In light of these findings, we argue that policy agendas arising from new untested theories should be disregarded.
Stichwort: Intangible capital, Nonneutral technology change, Labor productivity, Labor wedge, and RBC models Fach: E01 - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Gu, Chao and Wright, Randall D. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 689 Abstract:
We study models of credit with limited commitment, which implies endogenous borrowing constraints. We show that there are multiple stationary equilibria, as well as nonstationary equilibria, including some that display deterministic cyclic and chaotic dynamics. There are also stochastic (sunspot) equilibria, in which credit conditions change randomly over time, even though fundamentals are deterministic and stationary. We show this can occur when the terms of trade are determined by Walrasian pricing or by Nash bargaining. The results illustrate how it is possible to generate equilibria with credit cycles (crunches, freezes, crises) in theory, and as recently observed in actual economies.
Stichwort: Credit and Cycles Fach: E51 - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 670 Abstract:
Previous studies quantifying the effects of increased taxation during the U.S. Great Depression find that its contribution is small, in accounting for both the downturn in the early 1930s and the slow recovery after 1934. This paper shows that this conclusion rests critically on the assumption that the only taxable capital income is business profits. Effects of capital taxation are much larger when taxes on property, capital stock, excess profits, undistributed profits, and dividends are included in the analysis. When fed into a general equilibrium model, the increased taxes imply significant declines in investment and equity values and nontrivial declines in gross domestic product (GDP) and hours of work. Of particular importance during the Great Depression was the dramatic rise in the effective tax rate on corporate dividends.
Fach: E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, and H25 - Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT)
Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 664 Abstract:
In the 1970s macroeconomists often disagreed bitterly. Macroeconomists have now largely converged on method, model design, and macroeconomic policy advice. The disagreements that remain all stem from the practical implementation of the methodology. Some macroeconomists think that New Keynesian models are on the verge of being useful for quarter-to-quarter quantitative policy advice. We do not. We argue that the shocks in these models are dubiously structural and show that many of the features of the model as well as the implications due to these features are inconsistent with microeconomic evidence. These arguments lead us to conclude that New Keynesian models are not yet useful for policy analysis.
Fach: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and E58 - Central Banks and Their Policies
Creator: Conesa, Juan Carlos, Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953-, and Ruhl, Kim J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 401 Abstract:
This paper is a primer on the great depressions methodology developed by Cole and Ohanian (1999, 2007) and Kehoe and Prescott (2002, 2007). We use growth accounting and simple dynamic general equilibrium models to study the depression that occurred in Finland in the early 1990s. We find that the sharp drop in real GDP over the period 1990–93 was driven by a combination of a drop in total factor productivity (TFP) during 1990–92 and of increases in taxes on labor and consumption and increases in government consumption during 1989–94, which drove down hours worked in Finland. We attempt to endogenize the drop in TFP in variants of the model with an investment sector and with terms-of-trade shocks but are unsuccessful.
Fach: F59 - International Relations and International Political Economy: Other, F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, E50 - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit: General, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Liu, Zheng, Waggoner, Daniel F., and Zha, Tao Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 653 Abstract:
The possibility of regime shifts in monetary policy can have important effects on rational agents’ expectation formation and equilibrium dynamics. In a DSGE model where the monetary policy rule switches between a dovish regime that accommodates inflation and a hawkish regime that stabilizes inflation, the expectation effect is asymmetric across regimes. Such an asymmetric effect makes it difficult, but still possible, to generate substantial reductions in the volatilities of inflation and output as the monetary policy switches from the dovish regime to the hawkish regime.
Stichwort: Structural breaks, Monetary policy regime, Expectations formation, Lucas critique, and Macroeconomic volatility Fach: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E42 - Monetary Systems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System; Payment Systems, and E52 - Monetary Policy
Creator: Neumeyer, Pablo Andrés and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 335 Abstract:
We find that in a sample of emerging economies business cycles are more volatile than in developed ones, real interest rates are countercyclical and lead the cycle, consumption is more volatile than output and net exports are strongly countercyclical. We present a model of a small open economy, where the real interest rate is decomposed in an international rate and a country risk component. Country risk is affected by fundamental shocks but, through the presence of working capital, also amplifies the effects of those shocks. The model generates business cycles consistent with Argentine data. Eliminating country risk lowers Argentine output volatility by 27% while stabilizing international rates lowers it by less than 3%.
Stichwort: Working capital, International business cycles, Financial crises, Country risk, and Sudden stops Fach: F32 - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements, F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J. and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 621 Abstract:
Previous literature has shown that the study and characterization of constrained efficient allocations in economies with limited enforcement is useful to understand the limited risk sharing observed in many contexts, in particular between sovereign countries. In this paper we show that these constrained efficient allocations arise as equilibria in an economy in which private agents behave competitively, taking as given a set of taxes. We then show that these taxes, which end up limiting risk sharing, arise as an equilibrium of a dynamic game between governments. Our decentralization is different from the existing ones proposed in the literature. We find it intuitively appealing and we think it goes farther than the existing literature in endogenizing the primitive forces that lead to a lack of risk sharing in equilibrium.
Stichwort: Sustainable equilibrium, Decentralization, Incomplete markets, Default, Enforcement constraints, Sovereign debt, and Risk-sharing Fach: E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, D50 - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium: General, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems, E21 - Macroeconomics: Consumption; Saving; Wealth, and F30 - International Finance: General
Creator: Bergoeing, Raphael, Kehoe, Patrick J., Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953-, and Soto, Raimundo Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 292 Abstract:
Chile and Mexico experienced severe economic crises in the early 1980s. This paper analyzes four possible explanations for why Chile recovered much faster than did Mexico. Comparing data from the two countries allows us to rule out a monetarist explanation, an explanation based on falls in real wages and real exchange rates, and a debt overhang explanation. Using growth accounting, a calibrated growth model, and economic theory, we conclude that the crucial difference between the two countries was the earlier policy reforms in Chile that generated faster productivity growth. The most crucial of these reforms were in banking and bankruptcy procedures.
Stichwort: Depression, Growth accounting, Chile, Total factor productivity, and Mexico Fach: N16 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: Latin America; Caribbean, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, and O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General