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Lower-Frequency Macroeconomic Fluctuations: Living Standards and Leisure

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  • Ben Malin

    ()
    (Economics Stanford University)

Abstract

Although it is well known that aggregate variables have slow-moving stochastic components, research on macroeconomic fluctuations has focused primarily on high-frequency movements of the data. I document some interesting lower-frequency facts in U.S. postwar data and investigate whether dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models can explain these facts. One fact of particular interest is that hours worked per capita is negatively correlated with both output per capita and total factor productivity at lower frequencies, in stark contrast to the positive comovement of these three variables at high frequencies. I show that this lower-frequency fact is puzzling for many DSGE models and explore a variety of candidate solutions to the puzzle. I demonstrate that preferences which depend on a time-varying reference level of consumption ("living standards") can rationalize the observed patterns. Finally, I discuss the relative merits of the "living standards" interpretation of the model to other alternatives

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 752.

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Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:752

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Keywords: Aggregate Fluctuations; Lower Frequency; Labor Hours;

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  1. Robert J. Barro & Chaipat Sahasakul, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rate from the Individual Income Tax," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 26, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  2. Andrew B. Abel, . "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation and Catching Up With the Jones," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. Campbell, John, 1994. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," Scholarly Articles 3196342, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "State-Space Models with Regime Switching: Classical and Gibbs-Sampling Approaches with Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262112388, January.
  5. Judd, Kenneth L., 1992. "Projection methods for solving aggregate growth models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 410-452, December.
  6. Karen Kopecky, 2005. "The Trend in Retirement," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 12, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  7. Robert J. Barro & Chaipat Sahasakul, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rates from Social Security and the Individual Income Tax," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 29, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  8. Jeremy Greenwood & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005. "Hours Worked (Long-Run Trends)," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 10, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  9. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  10. Kim, Chang-Jin, 1994. "Dynamic linear models with Markov-switching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 1-22.
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Cited by:
  1. Reichling, Felix, 2006. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Labor Market Equilibrium when Workers can Self-Insure," MPRA Paper 5362, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Oct 2007.
  2. Nan Li, 2007. "Cyclical Wage Movements in Emerging Markets Compared to Developed Economies: A Contractual Approach," Discussion Papers 06-026, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  3. Richard A. Ashley. & Randall J. Verbrugge., 2006. "Mis-Specification and Frequency Dependence in a New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Working Papers e06-12, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Economics.

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