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On "Real" and "Sticky-Price" Theories of the Business Cycle

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

This paper begins by identifying the distinguishing characteristic of the "real business cycle" (RBC) class of macroeconomic models. It then scruitinizes existing evidence, presented in support of the RBC approach, of three types: calibrated general equilibrium models with no monetary sector, vector-autoregression variance decomposition results, and univariate measurements of trend and cyclical components. It is argued that, in fact, these types of evidence have so far provided little support for the RBC hypothesis. Finally, with regard to an important alternative hypothesis concerning macroeconomic fluctuations, the paper proposes a partial rationalization for the stickiness of nominal product prices.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1933.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1933.

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Date of creation: Jun 1986
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Publication status: published as McCallum, Bennett T. "On 'Real' and 'Sticky-Price' Theories of the Business Cycle," Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, Vol. 18, No. 4, November 1986, pp. 397-414.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1933

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  1. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  2. Robert B. Litterman & Laurence Weiss, 1983. "Money, Real Interest Rates, and Output: A Reinterpretation of Postwar U.S. Data," NBER Working Papers 1077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Comparison of Interwar and Postwar Business Cycles: Monetarism Reconsidered," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 250-57, May.
  4. A. S. Blinder & S. Fischer, 1978. "Inventories, Rational Expectations, and the Business Cycle," Working papers 220, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-89, August.
  7. Stulz, Rene M. & Wasserfallen, Walter, 1985. "Macroeconomic time-series, business cycles and macroeconomic policies," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 9-53, January.
  8. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Can Small Deviations from Rationality Make Significant Differences to Economic Equilibria?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 708-20, September.
  9. McCallum, Bennett T, 1980. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomic Stabilization Policy: An Overview," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 716-46, November.
  10. Martin S. Eichenbaum & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1986. "Do Equilibrium Real Business Cycle Theories Explain Post-War U.S. Business Cycles?," NBER Working Papers 1932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Parkin, Michael, 1977. "Indexing the economy through financial intermediation: a comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 169-171, January.
  12. White, Lawrence H, 1984. "Competitive Payments Systems and the Unit of Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 699-712, September.
  13. Blinder, Allan S., 1977. "Indexing the economy through financial intermediation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 69-105, January.
  14. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  15. King, Robert G & Plosser, Charles I, 1984. "Money, Credit, and Prices in a Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 363-80, June.
  16. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  17. Kydland, Finn E., 1984. "Labor-force heterogeneity and the business cycle," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 173-208, January.
  18. Eden, Benjamin, 1983. "Competitive price setting, price flexibility, and linkage to the money supply," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 253-299, January.
  19. Barro,Robert J. & Grossman,Herschel I., 2008. "Money Employment and Inflation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521068659, October.
  20. Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
  21. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  22. Wasserfallen, Walter, 1985. "Forecasting, rational expectations and the phillips-curve: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 7-27, January.
  23. Nelson, Charles R., 1985. "Macroeconomic time-series, business cycles, and macroeconomic policies A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 55-59, January.
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