Theory and History Behind Business Cycles: Are the 1990s the Onset of a Golden Age?
AbstractThe disputes over the prospects for the current U.S. expansion reopen the issue of the causes of business cycles. A recurrent concern about the present is that expectations of business profits and market returns may be outrunning the economy's potential to deliver. The theory presented in this paper ties together profits, investment, credit, stock prices, inflation and interest rates. I discuss new estimates of profit and investment functions with important roles for growth of demand and productivity, price and cost levels, risk perception, credit volume and credit difficulties. The relationships among these endogenous variables are viewed as constituting an enduring core of business cycles, the exogenous shocks and policy effects as more transitory and peripheral. The U.S. upswing of the past three years provides a vivid example of how profits, investment, and an exuberant stock market can reinforce each other. Long business expansions benefit society in several ways but they generate imbalances and are difficult to sustain. Recent events in Asia demonstrate how investment-driven booms can give way to a protracted stagnation with tendencies toward deflation and underconsumption or to severe depressions. After a deterioration in the 1970s and early 1980s, U.S. business cycles moderated again, as in the first two post-WWII decades. But globally recessions became more frequent and more severe in the second half of the postwar era. The arguments in favor a new Golden Age are generally not persuasive.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7010.
Date of creation: Mar 1999
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
- E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1999-03-08 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Zellner, Arnold & Hong, Chansik & Min, Chung-ki, 1991. "Forecasting turning points in international output growth rates using Bayesian exponentially weighted autoregression, time-varying parameter, and pooling techniques," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 275-304.
- Laarni Bulan & Christopher Mayer & C. Tsuriel Somerville, .
"Irreversible Investment, Real Options, and Competition: Evidence from Real Estate Development,"
Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers
391, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
- Bulan, Laarni & Mayer, Christopher & Somerville, C. Tsuriel, 2009. "Irreversible investment, real options, and competition: Evidence from real estate development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 237-251, May.
- Laarni Bulan & Christopher J. Mayer & C. Tsuriel Somerville, 2006. "Irreversible Investment, Real Options, and Competition: Evidence from Real Estate Development," NBER Working Papers 12486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Fazzari, Steven & Ferri, Piero & Greenberg, Edward, 2008. "Cash flow, investment, and Keynes-Minsky cycles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 555-572, March.
- Shaffer, Sherrill & Hoover, Scott, 2008. "Endogenous screening, credit crunches, and competition in laxity," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 296-314, December.
- Colin Beardsley & John R. O'Brien, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Regulationon Market Stability: Evidence from the US Markets," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2004-02, Henley Business School, Reading University.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.