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An Exploration into Pigou's Theory of Cycles

Listed author(s):
  • Beaudry, Paul
  • Portier, Franck

This Paper proposes a model of business cycles in which recessions and booms arise as the result of difficulties encountered by agents in properly forecasting the economy's future needs in terms of capital. The idea has a long history in the macroeconomic literature, as reflected by the work of Pigou [1926]. The contribution of this Paper is twofold. First, we illustrate the type of general equilibrium structure that can give rise to such phenomena. Second, we examine the extent to which such a model can explain the observed pattern of US recessions (frequency, depth) without relying on technological regress. We argue that such a model may offer an explanation as to why recession appear to be driven by declines in aggregate demand even in the absence of any significant price rigidities, and may also help understand elements of the recent downturns in Asia.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2996.

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Date of creation: Oct 2001
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2996
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  1. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  2. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  3. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  4. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," CEPR Discussion Papers 1221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
  6. Duffie, Darrell & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1993. "Simulated Moments Estimation of Markov Models of Asset Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 929-952, July.
  7. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 467, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-1085, September.
  9. Joseph Zeira, 1994. "Informational Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 31-44.
  10. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  11. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 1993. "Sectoral Shocks, Learning, and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 777-794.
  13. Allen, Steven G, 1985. "Why Construction Industry Productivity Is Declining," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 661-669, November.
  14. Edmund S. Phelps, 1999. "Behind This Structural Boom: The Role of Asset Valuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 63-68, May.
  15. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, Francois & Portier, Franck, 1997. "Time to implement and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 109-121, November.
  16. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  17. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
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