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Business Cycle Accounting

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  • V. V. Chari
  • Patrick Kehoe
  • Ellen McGrattan

Abstract

This paper proposes a simple method for guiding researchers in developing quantitative models of economic fluctuations. We show that a large class of models, including models with various frictions, are equivalent to a prototype growth model with time-varying wedges that, at least at face value, look like time-varying productivity, labor taxes, and capital income taxes. We label the time-varying wedges as efficiency wedges, labor wedges, and investment wedges. We use data to measure these wedges and then feed them back into the prototype growth model. We then assess the fraction of fluctuations accounted for by these wedges during the great depressions of the 1930s in the United States, Germany, and Canada. We find that the efficiency and labor wedges in combination account for essentially all of the declines and subsequent recoveries. Investment wedges play, at best, a minor role. (Replaced by Staff Report No: 328)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 122247000000000560.

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Date of creation: 06 Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:122247000000000560

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References

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  1. Carlstrom, Charles T & Fuerst, Timothy S, 1997. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 893-910, December.
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  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1992. "Liquidity effects and the monetary transmission mechanism," Staff Report 150, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2000. "Why Is Productivity Procyclical? Why Do We Care?," NBER Working Papers 7940, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Baxter, M. & Crucini, M., 1991. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," RCER Working Papers 316, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  15. Andreas Hornstein & Edward C. Prescott, 1989. "The firm and the plant in general equilibrium theory," Staff Report 126, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Alan C. Stockman & Linda L. Tesar, 1991. "Tastes and technology in a two-country model of the business cycle: explaining international co-movements," Working Paper 9019, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  17. Christopher J. Erceg & Michael D. Bordo & Charles L. Evans, 2000. "Money, Sticky Wages, and the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1447-1463, December.
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  22. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Re-Examining the Contributions of Money and Banking Shocks to the U.S. Great Depression," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 183-260 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Thomas F. Cooley & Gary D. Hansen, 1987. "The Inflation Tax in a Real Business Cycle Model," UCLA Economics Working Papers 496, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  25. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-75, August.
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  27. 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.
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  29. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 3556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  31. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
  32. Russell Cooper & Joao Ejarque, 1994. "Financial Intermediation and Aggregate Fluctuations: A Quantative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Parkin, Michael, 1988. "A method for determining whether parameters in aggregative models are structural," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 215-252, January.
  34. Cooper, Russell & Ejarque, Jo o, 2000. "Financial Intermediation And Aggregate Fluctuations: A Quantitative Analysis," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 423-447, December.
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  42. repec:cup:macdyn:v:4:y:2000:i:4:p:423-47 is not listed on IDEAS
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  45. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
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  1. "Why This New Crisis Needs a New Paradigm of Economic Thought"
    by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2009-08-24 19:06:54
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