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Noisy Business Cycles

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24

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  • George-Marios Angeletos
  • Jennifer La'O

Abstract

This paper investigates a real-business-cycle economy that features dispersed information about the underlying aggregate productivity shocks, taste shocks, and, potentially, shocks to monopoly power. We show how the dispersion of information can (i) contribute to significant inertia in the response of macroeconomic outcomes to such shocks; (ii) induce a negative short-run response of employment to productivity shocks; (iii) imply that productivity shocks explain only a small fraction of high-frequency fluctuations; (iv) contribute to significant noise in the business cycle; (v) formalize a certain type of demand shocks within an RBC economy; and (vi) generate cyclical variation in observed Solow residuals and labor wedges. Importantly, none of these properties requires significant uncertainty about the underlying fundamentals: they rest on the heterogeneity of information and the strength of trade linkages in the economy, not the level of uncertainty. Finally, none of these properties are symptoms of inefficiency: apart from undoing monopoly distortions or providing the agents with more information, no policy intervention can improve upon the equilibrium allocations.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Daron Acemoglu & Kenneth Rogoff & Michael Woodford, 2010. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number acem09-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11802.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11802

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    1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What happens after a technology shock?," International Finance Discussion Papers 768, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Adam, Klaus, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy with imperfect common knowledge," Working Paper Series 0223, European Central Bank.
    3. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
    4. Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2004. "Limited information capacity as a source of inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2003-2035, September.
    5. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2004. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Jul 2005.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal To Replace The New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328, November.
    7. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2008. "Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention," 2008 Meeting Papers 1059, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2001. "The Case for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hellwig, Christian & Veldkamp, Laura, 2007. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 6506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Venky Venkateswaran & Christian Hellwig, 2009. "Setting The Right Prices for the Wrong Reasons," 2009 Meeting Papers 260, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    13. Yulei Luo, 2008. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 366-385, April.
    14. Manuel Amador & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2010. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 866 - 907.
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    16. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1997. "Editorial in "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    19. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2005. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the Real Business Cycle Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 225-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca & Lippi, Marco & Sala, Luca, 2013. "Noise Bubbles," CEPR Discussion Papers 9532, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Rousakis, Michael, 2012. "Expectations and Fluctuations : The Role of Monetary Policy," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 984, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Liam Graham & Stephen Wright, 2009. "Information, heterogeneity and market incompleteness," Kiel Working Papers 1503, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    4. Michael Rousakis, 2013. "Expectations and Fluctuations: The Role of Monetary Policy," 2013 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Yulei Luo & Jun Nie & Eric R. Young, 2010. "Robust control, informational frictions, and international consumption correlations," Research Working Paper RWP 10-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    6. George-Marios Angeletos & Luigi Iovino & Jennifer La'O, 2011. "Cycles, Gaps, and the Social Value of Information," NBER Working Papers 17229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Amberger, Korie, 2013. "The Role of Capital on Noise Shocks," MPRA Paper 46483, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2012. "Robustness, information–processing constraints, and the current account in small open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 104-120.
    9. Ernesto Pasten, 2012. "Rational Inattention, Multi-Product Firms and the Neutrality of Money," 2012 Meeting Papers 346, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti & Marco Lippi & Luca Sala, 2014. "Noisy News in Business Cycles," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 097, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
    11. Tille, Cédric & van Wincoop, Eric, 2014. "Solving DSGE portfolio choice models with dispersed private information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-24.
    12. George-Marios Angeletos & Jennifer La'O, 2009. "Incomplete Information, Higher-Order Beliefs and Price Inertia," NBER Working Papers 15003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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