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Firm Heterogeneity, Capacity Utilization and the Business Cycle

  • Jean-François Fagnart

    (THEMA and Universté de Cergy-Pontoise)

  • Omar Licandro

    (FEDEA)

  • Franck Portier

    (Université des Sciences Sociales de Toulouse)

In a stochastic dynamic general equilibrium framework, we introduce the concept of capacity utilization (as opposed to capital utilization). We consider an economy where monopolistic firms use a putty-clay technology and decide on their productive capacity and technology under under uncertainty. An idiosyncratic uncertainty about the exact position of the demand curve faced by each firm explains why some productive capacities remain idle and why individual capacity utilization rates differ across firms. A variable capacity utilization allows for a good description of some of the main stylized facts of the business cycle, propagates and magnifies aggregate technological shocks and generates endogenous persistence (i.e., the output growth rate displays positive serial correlation). (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.1998.0057
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 2 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 433-455

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:2:y:1999:i:2:p:433-455
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  1. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bils, Mark & Cho, Jang-Ok, 1994. "Cyclical factor utilization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 319-354, April.
  3. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1996. "Factor-Hoarding and the Propagation of Business-Cycle Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1154-74, December.
  4. Thomas F. Cooley & Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1994. "Equilibrium business cycles with idle resources and variable capacity utilization," Working Papers 94-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  5. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1990. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 3556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Andreas Hornstein & Edward C. Prescott, 1989. "The firm and the plant in general equilibrium theory," Staff Report 126, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
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