Creator: Geweke, John Series: New methods in business cycle research Abstract:
A simple stochastic model of the firm is constructed in which a dynamic monopolist who maximizes a discounted profits stream subject to labor adjustment costs and given factor prices sets output price as a distributed lag of past wages and input prices. If the observed relation of wages and prices in manufacturing arises solely from this behavior then wages and input prices are exogenous with respect to output prices. In tests using quarterly and monthly series for the straight time wage, an index of raw materials prices and the wholesale price index for manufacturing and its durable and nondurable subsectors this hypothesis cannot be refuted for the period 1955:1 to 1971:11. During the period 1926:1 to 1940:11, however, symmetrically opposite behavior is observed manufacturing wholesale prices are exogenous with respect to the wage rate, a relation which can arise if dynamically monopsonistic firms compete in product markets. Neither structural relation has withstood direct wage and price controls.
Keyword: Wholesale, Labor, Wages, Prices, and Manufacturing Subject (JEL): E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation, and L60 - Industry Studies: Manufacturing: General
Creator: Goodfriend, Marvin and McDermott, John H. Series: Economic growth and development Abstract:
We explain how a long period of slow pre-industrial development triggers an Industrial Revolution that leads to modern balanced growth. Development in the preindustrial period is driven by increasing returns to specialization made possible by a growing population. Increasing access to specialized intermediate goods eventually makes fundamental technological innovation possible. Innovation initiates the Industrial Revolution, after which productivity grows endogenously regardless of population growth. Industrialization reconciles the crucial role of population early on with its weak relation to per capita product in developed economies. Faster population growth speeds early development, though if it results from a highly productive primitive technology, the consequences for development are ambiguous.
Keyword: Growth and Industrial Revolution Subject (JEL): O11 - Economic development - Macroeconomic analyses of economic development and N10 - Macroeconomics and monetary economics ; Growth and fluctuations - General, international, or comparative
Creator: İmrohoroǧlu, Selahattin Series: Macroeconomics with heterogenous agents, incomplete markets, liquidity constraints, and transaction costs Abstract:
This paper investigates the optimal tax structure in an overlapping generations model in which individuals face idiosyncratic income risk, borrowing constraints and lifetime uncertainty. The calibrated model economy produces some quantitative results that differ significantly from the findings of the previous research. The main finding in this imperfect insurance setup is that moving away from capital income taxation toward higher labor income taxation yields a (steady-state) welfare benefit of 1% of aggregate consumption compared with the 6% figure Lucas (1990) finds in an infinite-horizon, complete markets model. This is because replacing the tax on capital income with a higher tax on labor income redistributes resources away from the young working years during which borrowing constraints are more likely to bind. Furthermore, when the individuals have access to a private annuity market to insure against uncertain lifetimes, it becomes optimal to tax capital. When a consumption tax is made available, it is optimal to switch to consumption taxation. The welfare benefit from implementing this optimal plan is on the order of 1.5-3.2% of GNP.
Subject (JEL): H21 - Taxation, subsidies and revenue - Efficiency ; Optimal taxation and D52 - General equilibrium and disequilibrium - Incomplete markets
Creator: Rotemberg, Julio Series: Lucas expectations anniversary conference Abstract:
I show that a simple sticky price model based on Rotemberg (1982) is consistent with a variety of facts concerning the correlation of prices, hours and output. In particular, I show that it is consistent with a negative correlation between the detrended levels of output and prices when the Beveridge-Nelson method is used to detrend both the price and output data. Such a correlation, i.e.,a negative correlation between the predictable movements in output and the predictable movements in prices is present (and very strong) in U.S. data. Consistent with the model, this correlation is stronger than correlations between prices and hours of work. I also study the size of the predictable price movements that are associated with predictable output movements as well as the degree to which there are predictable movements in monetary aggregates associated with predictable movements in output. These facts are used to shed light on the degree to which the Federal Reserve has pursued a policy designed to stabilize expected inflation.
Keyword: Output, Prices, Monetary policy, Inflation, and Federal Reserve Subject (JEL): E23 - Macroeconomics : Consumption, saving, production, employment, and investment - Production, E31 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Price level ; Inflation ; Deflation, E24 - Macroeconomics : Consumption, saving, production, employment, and investment - Employment ; Unemployment ; Wages ; Intergenerational income distribution ; Aggregate human capital, and E50 - Monetary policy, central banking, and the supply of money and credit - General
Creator: Becketti, Sean Series: Business analysis committee meeting Abstract:
The new classical view that macroeconomic fluctuations can be modeled as an equilibrium system perturbed by transitory monetary disturbances has been challenged in recent years by another equilibrium view of fluctuations, the so-called real business cycle theory. In this latter framework, shocks to the production function induce both intertemporal substitution of labor supply and permanent shifts in the stochastic trend of output. Monetary shocks, on the other hand, play only a minor role in this view of the cycle. Much of the empirical support for the real business cycle view of fluctuations is based on a re-examination of traditional methods for detrending economic time series. The issues raised by the real business cycle theorists are not new; indeed, they go back at least to the NBER's first business cycle studies. However, the real business cycle theorists attach a radical economic interpretation to what, on the surface, appears to be a purely technical note on the proper method for detrending economic data. This paper reviews the debate over stochastic trends, discusses the economic implications of the real business cycle interpretation of stochastic trend models, and weighs the time series evidence for some of the stronger claims made by real business cycle theorists. We conclude that, while this literature raises real and useful questions about the interpretation of observed fluctuations, the new classical view of the cycle is not ruled out by the data.
Subject (JEL): E32 - Prices, business fluctuations, and cycles - Business fluctuations ; Cycles and E13 - General aggregative models - Neoclassical
Creator: Bullard, James and Russell, Steven Series: Finance, fluctuations, and development Abstract:
We examine the conditions under which steady states with low real interest rates—real rates substantially below the output growth rate—exist in an overlapping generations model with production, capital accumulation, a labor-leisure trade-off, technological progress, and agents who live for many periods. The number of periods in an agent's life (n) is left open for much of the analysis and determines the temporal interpretation of a time period. The qualitative properties of the model are largely invariant to different values of n. We find that two low real interest rate steady states exist for empirically plausible values of the parameters of the model. Outside liabilities such as fiat currency or unbacked government debt are valued in one of these steady states.
Keyword: Interest rates, Debts, Public, and General equilibrium models Subject (JEL): E40 - Money and interest rates - General and D51 - General equilibrium and disequilibrium - Exchange and production economies