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Capacity constraints, asymmetries, and the business cycle

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  • Gary D. Hansen

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Edward C. Prescott

    (Arizona State University)

Abstract

We study how an occasionally binding capacity constraint affects the properties of business cycles. A real business cycle model is constructed where production takes place at individual plants and the number of plants operated varies over the cycle. The capacity constraint binds in states where all plants are operated. We derive the aggregate production function for this economy, which turns out to differ from the standard Cobb.Douglas function while retaining its desirable properties. The business cycle features of this one-sector growth model are similar to those of a standard real business cycle model in most respects. Our model does, however, display some properties of actual economies that standard models do not. In particular, business cycles in our model are asymmetric--troughs are deeper on average than peaks are tall. Also, labor's share of income is counter-cyclical, as it is in US data. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2005.08.001
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 850-865

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:8:y:2005:i:4:p:850-865

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Related research

Keywords: Capacity utilization; Asymmetric business cycles; Real business cycles;

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References

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  1. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2000. "Is the stock market overvalued?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 20-40.
  2. Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1989. "Hours and employment variation in business cycle theory," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 17, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum, 1994. "Factor Hoarding and the Propagation of Business Cycles Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  5. Andreas Hornstein & Edward C. Prescott, 1989. "The firm and the plant in general equilibrium theory," Staff Report 126, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Sichel, Daniel E, 1993. "Business Cycle Asymmetry: A Deeper Look," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 224-36, April.
  7. Gomme, Paul & Greenwood, Jeremy, 1995. "On the cyclical allocation of risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 91-124.
  8. Cooley, Thomas F & Hansen, Gary D & Prescott, Edward C, 1995. "Equilibrium Business Cycles with Idle Resources and Variable Capacity Utilization," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 35-49, June.
  9. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  10. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  11. Simon Gilchrist & John C. Williams, 1998. "Putty-Clay and Investment: A Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6812, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Altug, Sumru & Ashley, Richard A. & Patterson, Douglas M., 1999. "Are Technology Shocks Nonlinear?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 506-533, December.
  13. Jean-Fran├žois Fagnart & Omar Licandro & Franck Portier, 1999. "Firm Heterogeneity, Capacity Utilization and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(2), pages 433-455, April.
  14. repec:cup:macdyn:v:3:y:1999:i:4:p:506-33 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
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