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Is lumpy investment really irrelevant for the business cycle?

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  • Tommy Sveen
  • Lutz Weinke

Abstract

New-Keynesian (NK) models can only account for the dynamic effects of monetary policy shocks if it is assumed that aggregate capital accumulation is much smoother than it would be the case under frictionless firm-level investment, as discussed in Woodford (2003, Ch. 5). We find that lumpy investment, when combined with price stickiness and market power of firms, can rationalize this assumption. Our main result is in stark contrast with the conclusions obtained by Thomas (2002) in the context of a real business cycle (RBC) model. We use our model to explain the economic mechanism behind this difference in the predictions of RBC and NK theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 869.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:869

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Keywords: Lumpy Investment; Sticky Prices;

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References

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  1. Aubhik Khan & Julia Thomas, 2004. "Idiosyncratic shocks and the role of nonconvexities in plant and aggregate investment dynamics," Staff Report 352, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Sveen, Tommy & Weinke, Lutz, 2005. "New perspectives on capital, sticky prices, and the Taylor principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 21-39, July.
  3. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  4. Sbordone, Argia, 1998. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Seminar Papers 653, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Miguel Casares & Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "An Optimizing IS-LM Framework with Endogenous Investment," NBER Working Papers 7908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1996. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," Documentos de Trabajo 12, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  7. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  8. Julia K. Thomas, 2002. "Is Lumpy Investment Relevant for the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 508-534, June.
  9. Marcelo Veracierto, 1997. "Plant level irreversible investment and equilibrium business cycles," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 115, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Tommy Sveen & Lutz Weinke, 2004. "Pitfalls in the modeling of forward-looking price setting and investment decisions," Economics Working Papers 773, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  12. Ricardo J. Caballero, 1997. "Aggregate Investment," NBER Working Papers 6264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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Cited by:
  1. Fang Yao, 2008. "Lumpy Labor Adjustment as a Propagation Mechanism of Business Cycles," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-022, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  2. Tommy Sveen & Lutz Weinke, 2006. "Firm-specific capital and welfare," Working Paper 2006/04, Norges Bank.
  3. Sam Cole, 2010. "The regional portfolio of disruptions, protection, and disasters," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 251-272, April.

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