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The cost of business cycles and the benefits of stabilization

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  • Gadi Barlevy

Abstract

This article reviews the social cost of U.S. postwar business cycle fluctuations, first calculated by Lucas (1987). Recent work suggests this cost is considerably larger than suggested by Lucas. Despite this, the author argues that it is not obvious that policymakers should have pursued a more aggressive stabilization policy over the postwar period. Still, because volatility is costly, stable growth remains a desirable goal.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its journal Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): (2005)
Issue (Month): Q I ()
Pages: 32-49

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhep:y:2005:i:qi:p:32-49:n:v.29no.1

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Keywords: Business cycles;

References

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  1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
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  8. Beaudry, Paul & Pages, Carmen, 2001. "The cost of business cycles and the stabilization value of unemployment insurance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1545-1572, August.
  9. Anne Epaulard & Aude Pommeret, 2003. "Recursive Utility, Endogenous Growth, and the Welfare Cost of Volatility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 672-684, July.
  10. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Bianconi, Marcelo, 2005. "Welfare Gains From Stabilization In A Stochastically Growing Economy With Idiosyncratic Shocks And Flexible Labor Supply," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(03), pages 321-357, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jung, Philip & Kuester, Keith, 2011. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for the welfare cost of business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1744-1768, October.
  2. Fischer, Carolyn & Springborn, Michael, 2011. "Emissions targets and the real business cycle: Intensity targets versus caps or taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 352-366.
  3. Houssa, Romain, 2013. "Uncertainty about welfare effects of consumption fluctuations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 35-62.
  4. Córdoba, Juan Carlos & Verdier, Geneviève, 2008. "Inequality and growth: Some welfare calculations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1812-1829, June.
  5. Oreopoulos, Philip & Wachter, Till von & Heisz, Andrew, 2008. "The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession: Hysteresis and Heterogeneity in the Market for College Graduates," IZA Discussion Papers 3578, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Agnello, Luca & Sousa, Ricardo M., 2009. "The determinants of public deficit volatility," Working Paper Series 1042, European Central Bank.
  7. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland, 2010. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models," Working Papers 91, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  8. Benjamin Eden, 2004. "Substitution and Risk Aversion: Is Risk Aversion Important for Understanding Asset Prices?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0422, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  9. Juan Carlos Cordoba & Geneviève Verdier, 2007. "Lucas vs. Lucas," IMF Working Papers 07/17, International Monetary Fund.
  10. David Wilcox, 2005. "Discussion of 'What Caused the Decline in US Business Cycle Volatility?'," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & David Norman (ed.), The Changing Nature of the Business Cycle Reserve Bank of Australia.
  11. Juan Carlos Cordoba & Genevieve Verdier, 2005. "Lucas vs. Lucas: On Inequality and Growth," Macroeconomics 0511021, EconWPA.
  12. Philip Jung & Keith Kuester, 2008. "The (un)importance of unemployment fluctuations for welfare," Working Papers 08-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  13. Ravi Bansal & Marcelo Ochoa, 2011. "Welfare Costs of Long-Run Temperature Shifts," NBER Working Papers 17574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Thomas Beissinger, 2006. "Neue Anforderungen an eine gesamtwirtschaftliche Stabilisierung," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 277/2006, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  15. Adam Elbourne & Debby Lanser & Bert Smid & Martin Vromans, 2008. "Macroeconomic resilience in a DSGE model," CPB Discussion Paper 96, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

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