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Spurious welfare reversals in international business cycle models

  • Kim, Jinill
  • Kim, Sunghyun Henry

Several papers on international business cycles have documented spurious welfare reversals, in that incomplete market economies can produce higher welfare than the complete market economy. This paper demonstrates how conventional linearization, as used in King, Plosser, and Rebelo (1988), can generate approximation errors that are large enough to result in such reversals. Using a two-country production economy without capital, we argue that spurious welfare reversals are not only possible but also plausible under reasonable parameter values. As a constructive alternative, this paper proposes an approximation method that modifies the conventional linearization method by a bias correction---the linear approximation around a 'stochastic' steady state. We show that this method can be easily implemented to accurately approximate the exact solution and therefore produce the correct welfare ordering. The accuracy of the proposed method is far better than that of the conventional linearization method and as good as that of a method involving a second-order expansion.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 60 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 471-500

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:60:y:2003:i:2:p:471-500
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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  10. Jinill Kim & Dale Henderson, 2002. "Inflation Targeting and Nominal Income Growth Targeting: When and Why Are They Suboptimal?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 59, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Obstfeld, M., 1998. "Risk and Exchange Rate," Papers 193, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  12. Dale W. Henderson & Jinill Kim, 1999. "Exact utilities under alternative monetary rules in a simple macro model with optimizing agents," International Finance Discussion Papers 635, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-75, August.
  14. Benigno, Gianluca & Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules and the Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 2807, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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