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Maintenance, Utilization, and Depreciation along the Business Cycle

  • Collard, Fabrice
  • Kollintzas, Tryphon

In this paper we look at the behaviour of maintenance, utilization and physical depreciation over the business cycle. We do so within the context of a real business cycle model where the decisions of firms about physical capital utilization, maintenance, and improvement or scrapping are endogenous. We distinguish between labour input devoted to output production and labour input devoted to maintaining and improving or scrapping existing capital. Firms must first decide the total number of work hours and then how to allocate workers between output production and capital maintenance. The model encompasses the baseline real business cycle model, where the depreciation rate is fixed, or versions of that model where the depreciation rate is an exogenous stochastic process. It also encompasses versions of the real business cycle model where capital utilization is an explicit endogenous variable or enters implicitly a variable work effort. Our model is capable of providing a unified explanation of several stylized facts of business cycle behaviour, including (a) a low correlation between labour productivity and output, (b) a low correlation between wages and productivity and (c) a relatively strong correlation between real wages and hours worked. Making the business cycle propagation richer reduces the variance of the Solow residual needed to match output volatility.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2477.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2477
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  1. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  2. Ambler, Steve & Paquet, Alain, 1994. "Stochastic Depreciation and the Business Cycle," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 101-16, February.
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  7. Fiorito, Riccardo & Kollintzas, Tryphon, 1992. "Stylized Facts of Business Cycles in the G7 from a Real Business Cycles Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. Steve Ambler & Alain Paquet, 1992. "Stochastic Depreciation and the Business Cycle Puzzle," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 8, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  16. Timothy Cogley & James M. Nason, 1993. "Output dynamics in real business cycle models," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 93-10, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  17. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
  18. Ingram, B.F. & DeJong, D.N. & Whiteman, C.H. & Wen, Y., 1996. "Cyclical Implications of the Variable Utilization of Physical and Human Capital," Working Papers 96-12, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  19. Ellen R. McGrattan & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 1999. "Maintenance and repair: too big to ignore," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 2-13.
  20. Feldstein, Martin S & Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Towards an Economic Theory of Replacement Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(3), pages 393-423, May.
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