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Investment Shocks and the Comovement Problem

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    Abstract

    Recent work based on sticky price-wage estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models suggests investment shocks are the most important drivers of post-World War II US business cycles. Consumption, however, typically falls after an investment shock. This finding sits oddly with the observed business cycle comovement where consumption, along with hours-worked and investment, moves with economic activity. We show that this comovement problem is resolved in an estimated DSGE model when the cost of capital utilization is specified in terms of increased depreciation of capital, as originally proposed by Greenwood et al. (1988) in a neoclassical setting. Traditionally, the cost of utilization is specified in terms of forgone consumption following Christiano et al. (2005), who studied the effects of monetary policy shocks. The alternative speci cation we consider has two additional implications relative to the traditional one: (i) it has a substantially better fit with the data and (ii) the contribution of investment shocks to the variance of consumption is over three times larger. The contributions to output, investment, and hours, are also relatively higher, suggesting that these shocks may be quantitatively even more important than previous estimates based on the traditional specification.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165188910001934
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 09-09.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: 21 Oct 2009
    Date of revision: 09 Aug 2010
    Publication status: Published: Revised version in Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Vol. 35, No. 1 (January 2011), pp. 115–130
    Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:09-09

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    Keywords: Investment shocks; comovement; estimated DSGE models;

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    1. Fransesco Furlanetto & Martin Seneca, 2010. "Investment-specific technology shocks and consumption," Economics wp49, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
    2. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2009. "Labor Supply Heterogeneity and Macroeconomic Co-movement," NBER Working Papers 15561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John C. Williams & Noah Williams, 2005. "Monetary policy under uncertainty in micro-founded macroeconometric models," Working Paper Series 2005-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Zheng Liu, 2009. "Sources of the Great Moderation: Shocks, Frictions, or Monetary Policy?," 2009 Meeting Papers 379, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2008. "Investment shocks and business cycles," Working Paper Series WP-08-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
    8. An, Sungbae & Schorfheide, Frank, 2005. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 5207, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    10. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
    11. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
    12. Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson & Andrew T. Levin, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," International Finance Discussion Papers 640, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. 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.
    14. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, 2010. "The econometrics of DSGE models," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 3-49, March.
    15. Barro, Robert J & King, Robert G, 1984. "Time-separable Preferences and Intertemporal-Substitution Models of Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 817-39, November.
    16. John Geweke, 1998. "Using simulation methods for Bayesian econometric models: inference, development, and communication," Staff Report 249, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    17. 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.
    18. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models—Rejoinder," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 211-219.
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    Cited by:
    1. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2011. "Investment Shocks and the Relative Price of Investment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 101-121, January.
    2. Francesco Furlanetto & Martin Seneca, 2011. "New perspectives on depreciation shocks as a source of business cycle fluctuations," Working Paper 2011/02, Norges Bank.

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