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The Return to Capital and the Business Cycle

  • Gomme, Paul
  • Ravikumar, B
  • Rupert, Peter

We measure the return to capital directly from the NIPA and BEA data and examine the return implications of the real business cycle model. We construct a quarterly time series of the after-tax return to business capital. Its volatility is considerably smaller than that of S&P 500 returns. The standard business cycle model captures almost 50% of the volatility in the return to capital (relative to the volatility of output). We consider several departures from the benchmark model; the most promising is one with stochastic taxes which captures nearly 80% of the relative volatility in the return to capital.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt8d5824r7.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt8d5824r7
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  1. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
  3. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z., 1991. "The Allocation of Capital and Time Over the Business Cycles," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9104, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  4. Ellen McGrattan & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1995. "An equilibrium model of the business cycle with household production and fiscal policy," Staff Report 191, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Average Debt and Equity Returns: Puzzling?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 392-397, May.
  6. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Poterba, James M., 1998. "The rate of return to corporate capital and factor shares: new estimates using revised national income accounts and capital stock data," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 211-246, June.
  8. Peter Rupert & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1994. "Estimating substitution elasticities in household production models," Staff Report 186, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1992. "Macroeconomic Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," Papers 527, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  10. Greenwood, J. & Rogerson, R. & Wright, R., 1993. "Household Production in Real Business Cycle Thoery," RCER Working Papers 347, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  11. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  12. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Capital, Interest, and Aggregate Intertemporal Substitution," NBER Working Papers 9373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Paul Gomme & Paul Klein, 2009. "Second-order approximation of dynamic models without the use of tensors," Working Papers 09004, Concordia University, Department of Economics, revised 28 Apr 2010.
  14. Ellen R. McGrattan, 1991. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 37, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Paul Gomme & Finn E. Kydland & Peter Rupert, 2001. "Home Production Meets Time to Build," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1115-1131, October.
  16. David Carey & Harry Tchilinguirian, 2000. "Average Effective Tax Rates on Capital, Labour and Consumption," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 258, OECD Publishing.
  17. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1994. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  20. Jess Benhabib & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1991. "Homework in macroeconomics: household production and aggregate fluctuations," Staff Report 135, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  21. Paul Gomme & Peter Rupert, 2005. "Theory, measurement, and calibration of macroeconomic models," Working Paper 0505, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  22. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  23. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
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