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Understanding Noninflationary Demand-Driven Business Cycles

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2013, Volume 28

  • Paul Beaudry
  • Franck Portier

During the last thirty years, US business cycles have been characterized by coun- tercyclical technology shocks and very low inflation variability. While the first fact runs counter to an RBC view of fluctuation and calls for demand shocks as a source of fluctuations, the second fact is difficult to reconcile with a New Keynesian model in which demand shocks are accommodated. In this paper we show that non-inflationary demand driven business cycles can be easily explained if one moves away from the rep- resentative agent framework on which the New Keynesian model and the RBC model are based. We show how changes in demand induced by changes in perceptions about the future can cause business cycle type fluctuations when agents are not perfectly mobile across sectors. As we use an extremely simple framework, we discuss the gener- ality of the results and develop a modified New Keynesian model with non inflationary demand driven fluctuations. We also document the relevance of our main assumptions regarding labor market segmentation and incomplete insurance using PSID data over the period 1968-2007.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Jonathan A. Parker & Michael Woodford, 2014. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2013, Volume 28," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number park13-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12929.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12929
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2009. "Labor supply heterogeneity and macroeconomic comovement," Staff Reports 399, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    2. Cochrane, John H., 1991. "A critique of the application of unit root tests," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 275-284, April.
    3. Den Haan, Wouter J. & Kaltenbrunner, Georg, 2009. "Anticipated growth and business cycles in matching models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 309-327, April.
    4. Beaudry, Paul & Collard, Fabrice & Portier, Franck, 2011. "Gold rush fever in business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 84-97, March.
    5. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2009. "Investment Shocks and Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 15570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas Fisher, 2003. "Fiscal Shocks and Their Consequences," NBER Working Papers 9772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Zheng Liu & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2010. "Sources of Macroeconomic Fluctuations: A Regime-switching DSGE Approach," Emory Economics 1002, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    9. Susan Dynarski & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Can Families Smooth Variable Earnings?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 229-303.
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