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Production Structure and Economic Fluctuations

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  • Tommaso Ciarli
  • Marco Valente

Abstract

We aim at contributing to the debate on the mechanisms and properties of economic fluctuations. We consider a crucial aspect among many thought to influence this ubiquitous and extremely relevant phenomenon: the interaction structure that characterises the organisation of production, that is, the production relation among sectors of a system. We build — and simulate — a very simple model representing an input–output system where sectors/firms adapt production and desired levels of stocks. Their output serves both an exogenous final demand and the intermediate demand solicited by the other sectors of the system. Series of simulation runs allow to derive relevant and non–obvious conclusions concerning the levels and, more importantly, the volatility of economic activity, as an outcome of the same, inherent, economic structure. We claim that the results that we obtain through the highly abstract representation we use, provide useful intuitions on the working of economic cycles, to be later integrated by further studies. As a by–product of our analysis, we also suggest that the methodology we adopt can provide valuable insights by allowing a detailed analysis of the time path generated in the artificial systems, and therefore assessing with precisions the same mechanisms that affect real– world systems. The natural following step, left for further research, is to investigate how those mechanisms are empirically generated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2007/02.

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Date of creation: 22 Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2007/02

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Keywords: Production structure; micro- and macro-volatility; simulation models;

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References

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  1. Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2006. "An Evolutionary Model of Endogenous Business Cycles," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 3-34, February.
  2. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
  3. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "International Business Cycles: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 93-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Nirei, Makoto, 2006. "Threshold behavior and aggregate fluctuation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 309-322, March.
  5. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  6. Scott Schuh, 1996. "Evidence on the link between firm-level and aggregate inventory behavior," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Valerie A. Ramey, 1992. "Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level," NBER Working Papers 4105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1987. "Micro Shocks and Aggregate Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 395-409, May.
  9. Lucas, Robert E., 1977. "Understanding business cycles," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 7-29, January.
  10. Gatti, Domenico Delli & Guilmi, Corrado Di & Gaffeo, Edoardo & Giulioni, Gianfranco & Gallegati, Mauro & Palestrini, Antonio, 2005. "A new approach to business fluctuations: heterogeneous interacting agents, scaling laws and financial fragility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 489-512, April.
  11. Dupor, Bill, 1999. "Aggregation and irrelevance in multi-sector models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 391-409, April.
  12. Bak, Per & Chen, Kan & Scheinkman, Jose & Woodford, Michael, 1993. "Aggregate fluctuations from independent sectoral shocks: self-organized criticality in a model of production and inventory dynamics," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-30, March.
  13. Gerard Weisbuch & Stefano Battiston, 2005. "Production networks and failure avalanches," Papers physics/0507101, arXiv.org.
  14. Scheinkman, Jose A & Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Self-Organized Criticality and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 417-21, May.
  15. Scott, A. & Acemoglu, D., 1995. "Asymmetric Business Cycles: Theory and Time-series Evidence," Economics Series Working Papers 99173, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. D.Helbing & S.Lämmer & T.Brenner & U.Witt, 2004. "Network-Induced Oscillatory Behavior in Material Flow Networks and Business Cycles," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2004-08, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  17. Allen C. Head, 1995. "Country Size, Aggregate Fluctuations, and International Risk Sharing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4b), pages 1096-1119, November.
  18. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
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