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Noisy Business Cycles

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  • George-Marios Angeletos
  • Jennifer La'O

Abstract

This paper investigates a real-business-cycle economy that features dispersed information about the underlying aggregate productivity shocks, taste shocks, and, potentially, shocks to monopoly power. We show how the dispersion of information can (i) contribute to significant inertia in the response of macroeconomic outcomes to such shocks; (ii) induce a negative short-run response of employment to productivity shocks; (iii) imply that productivity shocks explain only a small fraction of high-frequency fluctuations; (iv) contribute to significant noise in the business cycle; (v) formalize a certain type of demand shocks within an RBC economy; and (vi) generate cyclical variation in observed Solow residuals and labor wedges. Importantly, none of these properties requires significant uncertainty about the underlying fundamentals: they rest on the heterogeneity of information and the strength of trade linkages in the economy, not the level of uncertainty. Finally, none of these properties are symptoms of inefficiency: apart from undoing monopoly distortions or providing the agents with more information, no policy intervention can improve upon the equilibrium allocations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14982.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Publication status: published as Noisy Business Cycles , George-Marios Angeletos, Jennifer La'O. in NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24 , Acemoglu, Rogoff, and Woodford. 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14982

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  1. Moscarini, Giuseppe, 2004. "Limited information capacity as a source of inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(10), pages 2003-2035, September.
  2. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2008. "Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention," 2008 Meeting Papers 1059, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Klaus Adam, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Imperfect Common Knowledge," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 263, Society for Computational Economics.
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  6. Ricardo Reis, 2006. "Inattentive Producers," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 793-821.
  7. Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2007. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 6243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Christian Hellwig & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 223-251.
  9. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2001. "The case for price stability," Working Paper 01-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  10. Venky Venkateswaran & Christian Hellwig, 2009. "Setting The Right Prices for the Wrong Reasons," 2009 Meeting Papers 260, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Yulei Luo, 2005. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Macroeconomics 0505011, EconWPA, revised 03 Jun 2005.
  12. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2005. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the Real Business Cycle Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 225-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  16. Manuel Amador & Pierre Olivier Weill, 2008. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," 2008 Meeting Papers 390, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Christiano, Lawrence & Ilut, Cosmin & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2008. "Monetary policy and stock market boom-bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0955, European Central Bank.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Yulei Luo & Jun Nie & Eric R. Young, 2013. "Robust Control, Informational Frictions, and International Consumption Correlations," Working Papers 212013, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  2. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti & Marco Lippi & Luca Sala, 2014. "Noisy News in Business Cycles," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 097, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
  3. Ernesto Pastén, 2012. "Rational Inattention, Multi-Product Firms and the Neutrality of Money," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 664, Central Bank of Chile.
  4. Graham, Liam & Wright, Stephen, 2010. "Information, heterogeneity and market incompleteness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 164-174, March.
  5. Tille, Cédric & van Wincoop, Eric, 2014. "Solving DSGE portfolio choice models with dispersed private information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-24.
  6. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti & Marco Lippi & Luca Sala, 2014. "Noise Bubbles," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 096, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
  7. Amberger, Korie, 2013. "The Role of Capital on Noise Shocks," MPRA Paper 46483, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. George-Marios Angeletos & Jennifer La'O, 2009. "Incomplete Information, Higher-Order Beliefs and Price Inertia," NBER Working Papers 15003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2012. "Robustness, information–processing constraints, and the current account in small open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 104-120.
  10. Michael Rousakis, 2013. "Expectations and Fluctuations: The Role of Monetary Policy," 2013 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. George-Marios Angeletos & Luigi Iovino & Jennifer La'O, 2011. "Cycles, Gaps, and the Social Value of Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000293, David K. Levine.
  12. Rousakis, Michael, 2012. "Expectations and Fluctuations : The Role of Monetary Policy," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 984, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

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