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Can Indeterminacy Resolve the Consumption Correlation Puzzle?

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  • Wei Xiao
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Abstract

Do international business cycles only represent optimal responses by rational agents to erratic changes in technology, or are they also influenced by factors that are unrelated to fundamentals? This paper addresses this issue by exploring the role of such non-fundamental factors in improving open-economy real business cycle (RBC) models. One major shortcoming of existing RBC models is the "consumption correlation puzzle" - models tend to generate cross-country consumption correlations that are too high and output correlations that are too low. I show that with empirically supported level of increasing returns, an otherwise standard model possesses multiple equilibria and indeterminate convergent paths to the steady states, which allows for "self-fulfilling beliefs" to influence the economy. The model displays time series properties that in many ways match the data better than the conventional model. It is especially successful in generating realistic consumption and output correlations.

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 with number 209.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf1:209

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Keywords: Indeterminacy; sunspots; international correlations;

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  1. Farmer Roger E. A. & Guo Jang-Ting, 1994. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 42-72, June.
  2. Kollmann, Robert, 1996. "Incomplete asset markets and the cross-country consumption correlation puzzle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 945-961, May.
  3. Harrison, Sharon G., 2001. "Indeterminacy in a model with sector-specific externalities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 747-764, May.
  4. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1987. "International real business cycles," Working Papers 426, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Bennett, Rosalind L. & Farmer, Roger E. A., 2000. "Indeterminacy with Non-separable Utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 118-143, July.
  6. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1992. "Relative Price Movements in Dynamic General Equilibrium Models of International Trade," NBER Working Papers 4243, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
  9. Benhabib, J. & Farmer, R.E.A, 1991. "Indeterminacy and Increasing Returns," Papers 165, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  10. Baxter, Marianne & Crucini, Mario J, 1993. "Explaining Saving-Investment Correlations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 416-36, June.
  11. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 2115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Marianne Baxter & Mario J. Crucini, 1992. "Business cycles and the asset structure of foreign trade," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 59, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Stockman, Alan C & Tesar, Linda L, 1995. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 168-85, March.
  14. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038, December.
  15. Wen, Yi, 1998. "Capacity Utilization under Increasing Returns to Scale," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 7-36, July.
  16. Guo, Jang-Ting & Sturzenegger, Federico, 1998. "Crazy Explanations of International Business Cycles," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 111-33, February.
  17. Benhabib, Jess & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1998. "Indeterminacy and Sunspots with Constant Returns," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 58-96, July.
  18. Finn, Mary G., 1999. "An equilibrium theory of nominal and real exchange rate comovement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 453-475, December.
  19. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
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