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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, May.
    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. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011. "Business cycle dynamics under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1331, European Central Bank.
    3. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2001. "The case for price stability," Working Paper 01-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    4. Laura Veldkamp & Christian Hellwig, 2006. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," Working Papers 06-14, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    5. Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Inattentive Producers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5393, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Klaus Adam, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 24, Econometric Society.
    7. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "Can News about the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1097-1118, September.
    8. Laura Veldkamp, 2003. "Learning Asymmetries in Real Business Cycles," Working Papers 03-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    9. 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.
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    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Christiano, Lawrence & Ilut, Cosmin & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2008. "Monetary policy and stock market boom-bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0955, European Central Bank.
    15. Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Optimal sticky prices under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1009, European Central Bank.
    16. 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.
    17. Amador, Manuel & Weill, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "Learning from Private and Public Observation of Other's Actions," MPRA Paper 109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Venky Venkateswaran & Christian Hellwig, 2009. "Setting The Right Prices for the Wrong Reasons," 2009 Meeting Papers 260, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Yulei Luo, 2005. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Macroeconomics 0505011, EconWPA, revised 03 Jun 2005.
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    Cited by:
    1. Yulei Luo & Jun Nie & Eric R. Young, 2013. "Robust Control, Informational Frictions, and International Consumption Correlations," Working Papers 212013, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    2. Graham, Liam & Wright, Stephen, 2010. "Information, heterogeneity and market incompleteness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 164-174, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Ernesto Pasten, 2012. "Rational Inattention, Multi-Product Firms and the Neutrality of Money," 2012 Meeting Papers 346, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca & Lippi, Marco & Sala, Luca, 2013. "Noise Bubbles," CEPR Discussion Papers 9532, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. George-Marios Angeletos & Luigi Iovino & Jennifer La'O, 2011. "Cycles, Gaps, and the Social Value of Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000293, David K. Levine.
    11. Michael Rousakis, 2013. "Expectations and Fluctuations: The Role of Monetary Policy," 2013 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Amberger, Korie, 2013. "The Role of Capital on Noise Shocks," MPRA Paper 46483, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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