On business cycles and countercyclical policies
Since the third quarter of 2000, the U.S. economy began to experience a slowdown in its rate of growth. This slowdown serves as a reminder that the business cycle is still alive and raises the following questions: What do we know about the driving forces behind the business cycle? What should policymakers do in the face of economic fluctuations? ; The authors examine two explanations for business cycles that are well-known in academic circles: the animal spirits theory and the real business cycle theory. The former is closely connected with the Keynesian economic tradition and identifies market participants' mood swings as the key source of economic fluctuations. The second explanation is rooted in the classical economic tradition and views productivity shocks as the driving force behind economic fluctuations. The article then looks at what these theories suggest about countercyclical policies, which try to eliminate business cycle fluctuations or insulate market participants from their effects. The authors conclude that neither theory makes an unambiguous case supporting countercyclical policies. ; This conclusion may come as a surprise to government and business economists who have an ingrained belief in the benefits of such policies. It is important to remember, however, that attempts to understand business cycles and the effects and desirability of policies that may (or may not) moderate them are still at a very early stage.
Volume (Year): (2001)
Issue (Month): Q4 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1000 Peachtree St., N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309|
Web page: http://www.frbatlanta.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- N. Gregory Mankiw, 1985. "Small Menu Costs and Large Business Cycles: A Macroeconomic Model of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 529-538.
- Caballero, Ricardo J. & Lyons, Richard K., 1992.
"External effects in U.S. procyclical productivity,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 209-225, April.
- Caballero, R.J. & Lyons, R.K., 1991. "External Effects in U.S. Procyclical Productivity," Papers 91-19, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
- Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1998. "Indeterminacy and Stabilization Policy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 481-490, October.
- Jang-Ting Guo & Kevin J. Lansing, 1997. "Indeterminacy and stabilization policy," Working Paper 9708, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Christiano, Lawrence J. & G. Harrison, Sharon, 1999. "Chaos, sunspots and automatic stabilizers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 3-31, August.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, sunspots, and automatic stabilizers," Staff Report 214, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, sunspots, and automatic stabilizers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, Sunspots, and Automatic Stabilizers," NBER Working Papers 5703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 467, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-Neutrality of Money," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 183-203.
- Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1987. "Real Rigidities and the Non-Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
- Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1982. "Executable program for "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations"," QM&RBC Codes 4, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1982. "Web interface for "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations"," QM&RBC Codes 4a, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- 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.
- Farmer Roger E. A. & Guo Jang-Ting, 1994. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 42-72, June.
- Roger E.A. Farmer & Jang Ting Guo, 1992. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," UCLA Economics Working Papers 680, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1992. "The reincarnation of Keynesian economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 559-565, April.
- Mankiw, N.G., 1991. "The Reincarnation of Keynesian Economoics," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1572, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- N. Gregory Mankiw, 1991. "The Reincarnation of Keynesian Economics," NBER Working Papers 3885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Satyajit Chatterjee, 2000. "From cycles to shocks: progress in business-cycle theory," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Mar, pages 27-37. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2001:i:q4:p:1-11:n:v.86no.4. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Meredith Rector)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.