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Business cycle accounting

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  • V. V. Chari
  • Patrick J. Kehoe
  • Ellen R. 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 Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 625.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:625

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Keywords: Business cycles;

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References

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  1. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Accounting for the Great Depression," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-8.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1992. "Liquidity Effects and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," NBER Working Papers 3974, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1988. "The Inflation Tax In A Real Business Cycle Model," RCER Working Papers 155, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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  6. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, Jose David, 2002. "Markups, Gaps and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Pedro Amaral & James Macgee, 2002. "Data Appendix to The Great Depression in Canada and the United States: A Neoclassical Perspective," Technical Appendices amaral02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  8. 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.
  9. Kydland, Finn E. & Prescott, Edward C., 1988. "The workweek of capital and its cyclical implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 343-360.
  10. Rotemberg, Julio J. & Woodford, Michael, 1999. "The cyclical behavior of prices and costs," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1051-1135 Elsevier.
  11. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "New Deal policies and the persistence of the Great Depression: a general equilibrium analysis," Working Papers 597, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1990. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 3556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Marianne Baxter & Mario J. Crucini, 1994. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," NBER Working Papers 4975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ingram, B.F. & Kocherlakota, N.R. & Savin, N.E., 1992. "Explaining Business Cycles : A Multiple Shock Approach," Working Papers 92-09, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-76, June.
  18. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2000. "Re-examining the contributions of money and banking shocks to the U.S. Great Depression," Staff Report 270, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Dual Method of Empirically Evaluating Dynamic Competitive Equilibrium Models with Market Distortions, Applied to the Great Depression & World War II," NBER Working Papers 8775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 3206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Robert E. Hall, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 5933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Benhabib, Jess & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1991. "Homework in Macroeconomics: Household Production and Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1166-87, December.
  24. Bencivenga, Valerie R & Smith, Bruce D, 1991. "Financial Intermediation and Endogenous Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 195-209, April.
  25. Andreas Hornstein & Edward C. Prescott, 1989. "The firm and the plant in general equilibrium theory," Staff Report 126, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  26. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1987. "International real business cycles," Working Papers 426, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  27. 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.
  28. Crucini, Mario J. & Kahn, James, 1996. "Tariffs and aggregate economic activity: Lessons from the Great Depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 427-467, December.
  29. James A. Schmitz Jr., 2005. "What Determines Productivity? Lessons from the Dramatic Recovery of the U.S. and Canadian Iron Ore Industries Following Their Early 1980s Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 582-625, June.
  30. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z., 1991. "The Allocation of Capital and Time Over the Business Cycle," RCER Working Papers 268, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  32. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
  33. 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.
  34. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  35. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1996. "Solving the stochastic growth model with a finite element method," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-3), pages 19-42.
  36. Bencivenga, Valerie R, 1992. "An Econometric Study of Hours and Output Variation with Preference Shocks," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(2), pages 449-71, May.
  37. Parkin, M., 1988. "A Method For Determining Whether Parameters In Aggregative Models Are Structural," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8803, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  38. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Dynamic General Equilibrium Models with Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets," NBER Working Papers 4502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Russell Cooper & Joao Ejarque, 1994. "Financial Intermediation and Aggregate Fluctuations: A Quantative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Ellen R. McGrattan, 1991. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 37, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  42. repec:cup:macdyn:v:4:y:2000:i:4:p:423-47 is not listed on IDEAS
  43. 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.
  44. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1991. "Markups and the Business Cycle," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 63-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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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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