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A progress report on business cycle models

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  • Ellen R. McGrattan

Abstract

This article reports the recent progress made by researchers trying to build business cycle models that can reliably reproduce aggregate U.S. time series. The article first describes some features of the U.S. data that the models are meant to reproduce. Then it describes a version of the standard business cycle model, along with the indivisible labor extension of that model, both of which assume that fluctuations in economic activity are caused only by shocks to technology. Finally, it describes a version of recent other extensions which assume that shocks to fiscal variables also contribute to the fluctuations. Adding fiscal shocks to standard business cycle models is shown to significantly improve their ability to mimic some of the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen R. McGrattan, 1994. "A progress report on business cycle models," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 2-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:1994:i:fall:p:2-16:n:v.18no.4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
    2. Anton Braun, R., 1994. "Tax disturbances and real economic activity in the postwar United States," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 441-462, June.
    3. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    4. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    5. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
    6. Seater, John J., 1985. "On the construction of marginal federal personal and social security tax rates in the U.S," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 121-135, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D., 2003. "Is the political business cycle for real?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1091-1121, May.
    2. Sachsida, Adolfo & Junior, Roberto de Góes Ellery & Gomes, Victor, 2002. "Business Cycle Fluctuations in Brazil," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 56(2), April.
    3. Raphael Bergoeing & Felipe Morandé, 2002. "Crecimiento, Empleo e Impuestos al Trabajo: Chile 1998-2001," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 39(117), pages 157-174.
    4. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Todd, Richard M., 2002. "The conventional treatment of seasonality in business cycle analysis: does it create distortions?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 335-364, March.
    5. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B. & Johnsen, Thore, 1998. "Productivity growth, consumer confidence and the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1113-1140, June.
    6. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "Aggregate returns to scale: why measurement is imprecise," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 19-28.
    7. Ellen R. M cG rattan & Lee E. Ohanian, 2010. "Does Neoclassical Theory Account For The Effects Of Big Fiscal Shocks? Evidence From World War Ii," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 509-532, May.
    8. Becker, Torbjörn, 1995. "Risky Taxes, Budget Balance Preserving Spreads and Precautionary Savings," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 73, Stockholm School of Economics.
    9. de Blas, Beatriz, 2009. "Performance of interest rate rules under credit market imperfections," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 586-596, May.
    10. Weder, Mark, 2000. "Animal spirits, technology shocks and the business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 273-295, February.
    11. Coenen, Günter, 1998. "Intertemporal effects of fiscal policy in an RBC model," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 1998,02e, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    12. Weder, Mark, 2003. "On the plausibility of sunspot equilibria," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 65-81, March.
    13. Bartz, Sherry & Kelly, David L., 2008. "Economic growth and the environment: Theory and facts," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 115-149, May.
    14. Eric T. Swanson, 1999. "Measuring the cyclicality of real wages: how important is aggregation across industries?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-52, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Freeman, John R., 1996. "A Computable Equilibrium Model for the Study of Political Economy," Bulletins 7484, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
    16. Guang Yang, 2009. "Local government expenditure, RBC model and regional business cycle in China-Take Tianjin for example," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer;Higher Education Press, vol. 4(4), pages 588-600, December.
    17. Canton, Erik, 2001. "Fiscal policy in a stochastic model of endogenous growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 19-47, January.

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    Keywords

    Business cycles;

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