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Behavioral Theories of the Business Cycle

  • Nir Jaimovich
  • Sergio Rebelo

We explore the business cycle implications of expectation shocks and of two well-known psychological biases, optimismand overconfidence. The expectations of optimistic agents are biased toward good outcomes, whereas overconfident agentsoverestimate the precision of the signals that they receive. Both expectation shocks and overconfidence can increasebusiness-cycle volatility, while preserving the model's properties in terms of comovement and relative volatilities.In contrast, optimism is not a useful source of volatility in our model. (JEL: E3) (c) 2007 by the European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 5 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
Pages: 361-368

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:5:y:2007:i:2-3:p:361-368
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  1. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Jonathan A. Parker, 2005. "Optimal Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1092-1118, September.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  3. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  4. 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.
  5. Paul Söderlind, 2006. "C-CAPM without Ex Post Data," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2006 2006-22, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  6. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "Can News about the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1097-1118, September.
  7. Christiano, Lawrence & Ilut, Cosmin & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2008. "Monetary policy and stock market boom-bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0955, European Central Bank.
  8. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
  9. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2004. "An exploration into Pigou's theory of cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1183-1216, September.
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