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When Can Changes in Expectations Cause Business Cycle Fluctuations in Neo-Classical Settings?

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  • Beaudry, Paul
  • Portier, Franck

Abstract

It is often argued that changes in expectation are an important driving force of the business cycle. It is well known, however, that changes in expectations cannot generate positive co-movement between consumption, investment and employment in the most standard neo-classical business cycle models. This gives rise to the question of whether changes in expectation can cause business cycle fluctuations in any neo-classical setting or whether such a phenomenon is inherently related to market imperfections. This Paper offers a systematic exploration of this issue. Our finding is that expectation driven business cycle fluctuations can arise in neo-classical models when one allows for a sufficiently rich description of the inter-sectorial production technology; however, such a structure is rarely allowed or explored in macro-models. In particular, the key characteristic which we isolate as giving rise to the possibility of expectation driven business cycles is that intermediate good producers exhibit cost complementarities (i.e., economies of scope) when supplying goods to different sectors of the economy.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4628.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4628

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Keywords: business cycles; expectations; multi-sectoral models;

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  1. Jess Benhabib & Roger E.A. Farmer, 1992. "Indeterminacy and Increasing Returns," UCLA Economics Working Papers 646, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2004. "An exploration into Pigou's theory of cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1183-1216, September.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E. A., 1996. "Indeterminacy and sector-specific externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 421-443, June.
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  7. Fisher, Jonas D. M., 1997. "Relative prices, complementarities and comovement among components of aggregate expenditures," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 449-474, August.
  8. Huffman, Gregory W. & Wynne, Mark A., 1999. "The role of intratemporal adjustment costs in a multisector economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 317-350, April.
  9. Susanto Basu, 1995. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," NBER Working Papers 5336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Christopher A. Sims, 1989. "Models and their uses," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 11, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  1. NGDP targeting in an OLG model
    by David Andolfatto in MacroMania on 2012-06-05 05:38:00
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