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An exploration into Pigou's theory of cycles

Listed author(s):
  • Beaudry, Paul
  • Portier, Franck

This Paper proposes a model of business cycles in which recessions and booms arise as the result of difficulties encountered by agents in properly forecasting the economy's future needs in terms of capital. The idea has a long history in the macroeconomic literature, as reflected by the work of Pigou [1926]. The contribution of this Paper is twofold. First, we illustrate the type of general equilibrium structure that can give rise to such phenomena. Second, we examine the extent to which such a model can explain the observed pattern of US recessions (frequency, depth) without relying on technological regress. We argue that such a model may offer an explanation as to why recession appear to be driven by declines in aggregate demand even in the absence of any significant price rigidities, and may also help understand elements of the recent downturns in Asia.

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

Volume (Year): 51 (2004)
Issue (Month): 6 (September)
Pages: 1183-1216

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:51:y:2004:i:6:p:1183-1216
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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  1. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-673, September.
  2. Duffie, Darrell & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1993. "Simulated Moments Estimation of Markov Models of Asset Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 929-952, July.
  3. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, Francois & Portier, Franck, 1997. "Time to implement and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 109-121, November.
  4. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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  6. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-1085, September.
  7. Allen, Steven G, 1985. "Why Construction Industry Productivity Is Declining," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 661-669, November.
  8. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 67-124 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  10. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
  11. Edmund S. Phelps, 1999. "Behind This Structural Boom: The Role of Asset Valuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 63-68, May.
  12. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
  13. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  14. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  15. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1993. "Sectoral Shocks, Learning, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 777-794.
  16. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
  17. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
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