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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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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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References

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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, 2009. "The Econometrics of DSGE Models," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-008, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2009. "Labor supply heterogeneity and macroeconomic comovement," Staff Reports 399, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 6112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  10. Justiniano, Alejandro & Primiceri, Giorgio E. & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2008. "Investment Shocks and Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 6739, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Zheng Liu & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2009. "Sources of the Great Moderation: shocks, frictions, or monetary policy?," Working Paper 2009-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  12. John Geweke, 1999. "Using simulation methods for bayesian econometric models: inference, development,and communication," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-73.
  13. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 12537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 113-172.
  15. Francesco Furlanetto & Martin Seneca, 2010. "Investment-specific technology shocks and consumption," Working Paper 2010/30, Norges Bank.
  16. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  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. Justiniano, Alejandro & Primiceri, Giorgio E. & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2009. "Investment Shocks and the Relative Price of Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7598, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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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