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New evidence on the structure of production: Real and Austrian business cycle theory and the financial instability hypothesis

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  • Mulligan, Robert F.

Abstract

This article develops the relationships among real business cycle (RBC) theory, Austrian business cycle (ABC) theory, and Minsky's financial instability hypothesis (FIH). In RBC models, recessions are caused on the supply side by random technology shocks which are independent of monetary policy. However, in ABC models, credit expansion results in negative productivity shocks, as the marginal return on investment is lowered and the production structure is extended by commitment to more capital-intensive activities. Thus, ABC theory helps resolve several problems with RBC theory. The FIH describes a process of endogenous overleveraging which unsustainably overvalues assets and exposes the financial sector to greater risk. This paper argues that the overleveraging described by the FIH is compatible with the unsustainable expansion of production described in ABC theory, and further argues that credit expansion would both provide additional funds to finance overleveraging, as well as encourage the process by making it cheaper with lower interest rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Mulligan, Robert F., 2013. "New evidence on the structure of production: Real and Austrian business cycle theory and the financial instability hypothesis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 67-77.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:86:y:2013:i:c:p:67-77
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.027
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:revaec:v:30:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11138-016-0340-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Adrián O. Ravier & Nicolás Cachanosky, 2015. "Fiscal Policy in Capital-Based Macroeconomics with Idle Resources," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 30(Winter 20), pages 81-95.
    3. Mulligan, Robert F., 2014. "Multifractality of sectoral price indices: Hurst signature analysis of Cantillon effects in disequilibrium factor markets," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 403(C), pages 252-264.
    4. Cachanosky, Nicolás & Lewin, Peter, 2016. "An empirical application of the EVA® framework to business cycles," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 60-67.
    5. Mulligan, Robert F., 2017. "The multifractal character of capacity utilization over the business cycle: An application of Hurst signature analysis," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 147-152.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Production structure; Hayekian triangle; Real business cycle model; Financial instability hypothesis;

    JEL classification:

    • B53 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Austrian
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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