Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 315 Abstract:
There is much debate about the usefulness of the neoclassical growth model for assessing the macroeconomic impact of fiscal shocks. We test the theory using data from World War II, which is by far the largest fiscal shock in the history of the United States. We take observed changes in fiscal policy during the war as inputs into a parameterized, dynamic general equilibrium model and compare the values of all variables in the model to the actual values of these variables in the data. Our main finding is that the theory quantitatively accounts for macroeconomic activity during this big fiscal shock.
Keyword: Neoclassical Theory, Fiscal Shocks, and World War II Subject (JEL): E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical and E62 - Fiscal Policy
Creator: McGrattan, Ellen R. and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 534 Abstract:
Many countries are facing challenging fiscal financing issues as their populations age and the number of workers per retiree falls. Policymakers need transparent and robust analyses of alternative policies to deal with demographic changes. In this paper, we propose a simple framework that can easily be matched to aggregate data from the national accounts. We demonstrate the usefulness of our framework by comparing quantitative results for our aggregate model with those of a related model that includes within-age-cohort heterogeneity through productivity differences. When we assess proposals to switch from the current tax and transfer system in the United States to a mandatory saving-for-retirement system with no payroll taxation, we find that the aggregate predictions for the two models are close.
Keyword: Retirement, Taxation, Medicare, and Social Security Subject (JEL): H55 - Social Security and Public Pensions, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and I13 - Health Insurance, Public and Private
Creator: Kehoe, Patrick J., Midrigan, Virgiliu, and Pastorino, Elena Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 566 Abstract:
Modern business cycle theory focuses on the study of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models that generate aggregate fluctuations similar to those experienced by actual economies. We discuss how this theory has evolved from its roots in the early real business cycle models of the late 1970s through the turmoil of the Great Recession four decades later. We document the strikingly different pattern of comovements of macro aggregates during the Great Recession compared to other postwar recessions, especially the 1982 recession. We then show how two versions of the latest generation of real business cycle models can account, respectively, for the aggregate and the cross-regional fluctuations observed in the Great Recession in the United States.
Keyword: New Keynesian models, Financial frictions, and External validation Subject (JEL): E52 - Monetary Policy, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, and E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Creator: Prescott, Edward C. and Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor Series: Advances in dynamic economics Abstract:
A necessary feature for equilibrium is that beliefs about the behavior of other agents are rational. We argue that in stationary OLG environments this implies that any future generation in the same situation as the initial generation must do as well as the initial generation did in that situation. We conclude that the existing equilibrium concepts in the literature do not satisfy this condition. We then propose an alternative equilibrium concept, organizational equilibrium, that satisfies this condition. We show that equilibrium exists, it is unique, and it improves over autarky without achieving optimality. Moreover, the equilibrium can be readily found by solving a maximization program.
Keyword: Rational behavior, Equilibrium, and Overlapping generations Subject (JEL): D51 - Exchange and Production Economies and E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical
Creator: Cooley, Thomas F., Hansen, Gary D. (Gary Duane), and Prescott, Edward C. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 535 Keyword: Equilibrium and Business cycle Subject (JEL): E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical 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 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: Business cycles, Productivity, and Intangible capital Subject (JEL): E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Aiyagari, S. Rao Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 518 Abstract:
This paper is about a useful way of taking account of frictions in asset pricing and macroeconomics. I start by noting that complete frictionless markets models have a number of empirical deficiencies. Then I suggest an alternative class of models with incomplete markets and heterogenous agents which can also accommodate a variety of other frictions. These models are quantitatively attractive and computationally feasible and have the potential to overcome many or all of the empirical deficiencies of complete frictionless markets models. The incomplete markets model can also differ significantly from the complete frictionless markets model on some important policy questions.
Keyword: Macroeconomics, Incomplete markets, Frictionless market model, Asset pricing, and Friction Subject (JEL): G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates and E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical
Creator: Christiano, Lawrence J. and Harrison, Sharon G. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 214 Abstract:
We study a one-sector growth model which is standard except for the presence of an externality in the production function. The set of competitive equilibria is large. It includes constant equilibria, sunspot equilibria, cyclical and chaotic equilibria, and equilibria with deterministic or stochastic regime switching. The efficient allocation is characterized by constant employment and a constant growth rate. We identify an income tax-subsidy schedule that supports the efficient allocation as the unique equilibrium outcome. That schedule has two properties: (i) it specifies the tax rate to be an increasing function of aggregate employment, and (ii) earnings are subsidized when aggregate employment is at its efficient level. The first feature eliminates inefficient, fluctuating equilibria, while the second induces agents to internalize the externality.
Keyword: Stabilization, Fiscal policy, Business cycle, Multiple equilibria, and Regime switching Subject (JEL): E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, E62 - Fiscal Policy, and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
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