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Creator: Holmes, Thomas J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 368 Abstract:
Unionism in the United States is contagious; it spills out of coal mines and steel mills into other establishments in the neighborhood, like hospitals and supermarkets. The geographic spillover of unionism is documented here using a newly constructed establishment level data on unionism that is rich in geographic detail. A strong connection is found between unionism of health care establishments today and proximity to unionized coal mines and steel mills from the 1950s.
Mot-clé: Spillover, Contagion, Unions, and South Assujettir: J50 - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining: General and R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: 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.
Mot-clé: 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 Assujettir: D10 - Household Behavior: General and D40 - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: General
Creator: Chari, V. V., Kehoe, Patrick J., and McGrattan, Ellen R. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 384 Abstract:
We make three comparisons relevant for the business cycle accounting approach. We show that in theory, representing the investment wedge as a tax on investment is equivalent to representing this wedge as a tax on capital income as long as the probability distributions over this wedge in the two representations are the same. In practice, convenience dictates that the underlying probability distributions over the investment wedge are different in the two representations. Even so, the quantitative results under the two representations are essentially identical. We also compare our methodology, the CKM methodology, to an alternative one used in Christiano and Davis (2006) and by us in early incarnations of the business cycle accounting approach. We argue that the CKM methodology rests on more secure theoretical foundations. Finally, we show that the results from the VAR-style decomposition of Christiano and Davis reinforce the results of the business cycle decomposition of CKM.
Mot-clé: Equivalence results, Recession, Wedges, and Distortions Assujettir: E17 - General Aggregative Models: Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications, E44 - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E65 - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and E47 - Money and Interest Rates: Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
Creator: Bridgman, Benjamin, Qi, Shi, and Schmitz, James Andrew Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 389 Abstract:
We study the impact of regulation on productivity and welfare in the U.S. sugar manufacturing industry. While this U.S. industry has been protected from foreign competition for nearly 150 years, it was regulated only during the Sugar Act period, 1934–74. We show that regulation significantly reduced productivity, with these productivity losses leading to large welfare losses. Our initial results indicate that the welfare losses are many times larger than those typically studied—those arising from higher prices. We also argue that the channels through which regulation led to large productivity and welfare declines in this industry were also present in many other regulated industries, like banking and trucking.
Creator: Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- and Ruhl, Kim J. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 391 Abstract:
International trade is frequently thought of as a production technology in which the inputs are exports and the outputs are imports. Exports are transformed into imports at the rate of the price of exports relative to the price of imports: the reciprocal of the terms of trade. Cast this way, a change in the terms of trade acts as a productivity shock. Or does it? In this paper, we show that this line of reasoning cannot work in standard models. Starting with a simple model and then generalizing, we show that changes in the terms of trade have no first-order effect on productivity when output is measured as chain-weighted real GDP. The terms of trade do affect real income and consumption in a country, and we show how measures of real income change with the terms of trade at business cycle frequencies and during financial crises.
Mot-clé: Terms of trade, Total factor productivity, Gross domestic product, and National income accounting Assujettir: F41 - Open Economy Macroeconomics, E23 - Macroeconomics: Production, and F43 - Economic Growth of Open Economies
Creator: Prescott, Edward C. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 527 Abstract:
This essay reviews the development of neoclassical growth theory, a unified theory of aggregate economic phenomena that was first used to study business cycles and aggregate labor supply. Subsequently, the theory has been used to understand asset pricing, growth miracles and disasters, monetary economics, capital accounts, aggregate public finance, economic development, and foreign direct investment.
The focus of this essay is on real business cycle (RBC) methodology. Those who employ the discipline behind the methodology to address various quantitative questions come up with essentially the same answer—evidence that the theory has a life of its own, directing researchers to essentially the same conclusions when they apply its discipline. Deviations from the theory sometimes arise and remain open for a considerable period before they are resolved by better measurement and extensions of the theory. Elements of the discipline include selecting a model economy or sometimes a set of model economies. The model used to address a specific question or issue must have a consistent set of national accounts with all the accounting identities holding. In addition, the model assumptions must be consistent across applications and be consistent with micro as well as aggregate observations. Reality is complex, and any model economy used is necessarily an abstraction and therefore false. This does not mean, however, that model economies are not useful in drawing scientific inference.
The vast number of contributions made by many researchers who have used this methodology precludes reviewing them all in this essay. Instead, the contributions reviewed here are ones that illustrate methodological points or extend the applicability of neoclassical growth theory. Of particular interest will be important developments subsequent to the Cooley (1995) volume, Frontiers of Business Cycle Research. The interaction between theory and measurement is emphasized because this is the way in which hard quantitative sciences progress.
Mot-clé: Aggregate financial economics, Development, Business cycle fluctuations, Prosperities, RBC methodology, Neoclassical growth theory, Depressions, Aggregate economic theory, and Aggregation Assujettir: B40 - Economic Methodology: General, E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, C10 - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General, and E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics: General
Creator: Conesa, Juan Carlos and Kehoe, Timothy Jerome, 1953- Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 550 Abstract:
In the early 1970s, hours worked per working-age person in Spain were higher than in the United States. Starting in 1975, however, hours worked in Spain fell by 40 percent. We find that 80 percent of the decline in hours worked can be accounted for by the evolution of taxes in an otherwise standard neoclassical growth model. Although taxes play a crucial role, we cannot argue that taxes drive all of the movements in hours worked. In particular, the model underpredicts the large decrease in hours in 1975–1986 and the large increase in hours in 1994–2007. The lack of productivity growth in Spain during 1994–2015 has little impact on the model’s prediction for hours worked.
Mot-clé: Distortionary taxes, Total factor productivity, Hours worked, and Dynamic general equilibrium Assujettir: C68 - Computable General Equilibrium Models, E24 - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and H31 - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents: Household
Creator: Johnson, Janna and Kleiner, Morris Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 561 Abstract:
Occupational licensure, one of the most significant labor market regulations in the United States, may restrict the interstate movement of workers. We analyze the interstate migration of 22 licensed occupations. Using an empirical strategy that controls for unobservable characteristics that drive long-distance moves, we find that the between-state migration rate for individuals in occupations with state-specific licensing exam requirements is 36 percent lower relative to members of other occupations. Members of licensed occupations with national licensing exams show no evidence of limited interstate migration. The size of this effect varies across occupations and appears to be tied to the state specificity of licensing requirements. We also provide evidence that the adoption of reciprocity agreements, which lower re-licensure costs, increases the interstate migration rate of lawyers. Based on our results, we estimate that the rise in occupational licensing can explain part of the documented decline in interstate migration and job transitions in the United States.
Mot-clé: Interstate migration, Labor market regulation, and Occupational licensing Assujettir: L38 - Public Policy, K00 - Law and Economics: General, J44 - Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing, J10 - Demographic Economics: General, and J01 - Labor Economics: General
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.
Mot-clé: New Keynesian models, Financial frictions, and External validation Assujettir: E52 - Monetary Policy, E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, E13 - General Aggregative Models: Neoclassical, and E61 - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
Creator: Hur, Sewon, Kondo, Illenin O., and Perri, Fabrizio Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 574 Abstract:
This paper argues that the comovement between inflation and economic activity is an important determinant of real interest rates over time and across countries. First, we show that for advanced economies, periods with more procyclical inflation are associated with lower real rates, but only when there is no risk of default on government debt. Second, we present a model of nominal sovereign debt with domestic risk-averse lenders. With procyclical inflation, nominal bonds pay out more in bad times, making them a good hedge against aggregate risk. In the absence of default risk, procyclical inflation yields lower real rates. However, procyclicality implies that the government needs to make larger (real) payments when the economy deteriorates, which could increase default risk and trigger an increase in real rates. The patterns of real rates predicted by the model are quantitatively consistent with those documented in the data.
Mot-clé: Nominal bonds, Inflation risk, Government debt, and Sovereign default Assujettir: F34 - International Lending and Debt Problems, E31 - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation, G12 - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates, and H63 - National Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt