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Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare

  • Basu, Susanto

This paper presents an aggregate demand-driven model of business cycles that provides a new explanation for the procyclicality of productivity and simultaneously predicts large welfare losses from monetary nonneutrality. The key features of the model are an input-output production structure; imperfect competition; countercyclical markups; and, for some results, state-dependent price rigidity. True technical efficiency is procyclical even though production takes place with constant returns, without technology shocks or technological externalities. The paper has observable implications that distinguish it empirically from related work. These implications are generally supported by data from U.S. manufacturing industries. Copyright 1995 by American Economic Association.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 85 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 512-31

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:85:y:1995:i:3:p:512-31
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  1. Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 55-66, February.
  2. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1989. "Building Blocks of Market Clearing Business Cycle Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 247-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gordon, Robert J, 1990. "What Is New-Keynesian Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 1115-71, September.
  4. 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.
  5. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "A Near-rational Model of the Business Cycle, with Wage and Price Intertia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(5), pages 823-38, Supp..
  6. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1989. "Are Prices Too Sticky?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(3), pages 507-24, August.
  7. Ricardo J. Caballero & Richard K. Lyons, 1989. "The Role of External Economies in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 3033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Evans, Charles L., 1992. "Productivity shocks and real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 191-208, April.
  9. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-38, May.
  10. Carlton, Dennis W, 1986. "The Rigidity of Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 637-58, September.
  11. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1994. "Constant returns and small markups in U.S. manufacturing," International Finance Discussion Papers 483, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
  13. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1991. "Productivity and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, pages 19-118 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Solon, Gary & Barsky, Robert & Parker, Jonathan A, 1994. "Measuring the Cyclicality of Real Wages: How Important Is Composition Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-25, February.
  15. Bernanke, Ben S & Parkinson, Martin L, 1991. "Procyclical Labor Productivity and Competing Theories of the Business Cycle: Some Evidence from Interwar U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 439-59, June.
  16. Ramey, Valerie A, 1989. "Inventories as Factors of Production and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 338-54, June.
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