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The States vs. the states: On the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles in the U.S

Economic fluctuations are much stronger when measured at the state level than they are for the United States as a whole. This observation raises the question of how costly business cycles really are in the United States. Using state-level consumption data, we show that the welfare cost of consumption volatility is in fact very substantial. Indeed, in many U.S. states, the welfare gain from eliminating business cycles can exceed the gain from increasing the long-term growth rate by 1\% forever. Our findings have important implications for some key puzzles in economics and finance.

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File URL: http://www.unites.uqam.ca/eco/cahiers/wp20-17.pdf
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File URL: http://www.unites.uqam.ca/eco/cahiers/wp20-17r.pdf
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Paper provided by Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques in its series Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM with number 20-17.

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Length: 23
Date of creation: Aug 2002
Date of revision: Oct 2002
Handle: RePEc:cre:uqamwp:20-17
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  1. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 1999. "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 245-272, January.
  2. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  3. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  4. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
  5. Huberman, Gur, 2001. "Familiarity Breeds Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 659-80.
  6. Ostergaard, Charlotte & Sørensen, Bent E & Yosha, Oved, 2001. "Consumption and Aggregate Constraints: Evidence from US States and Canadian Provinces," CEPR Discussion Papers 2947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. Gadi Barlevy, 2003. "The cost of business cycles under endogenous growth," Working Paper Series WP-03-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Stefano G. Athanasoulis & Robert J. Shiller, 2001. "World Income Components: Measuring and Exploiting Risk-Sharing Opportunities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1031-1054, September.
  10. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  11. Gregory D. Hess & Kwanho Shin, 1995. "Intranational business cycles in the United States," Research Working Paper 95-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  12. Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994. "Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 187-218 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Steven J. Davis & Jeremy Nalewaik & Paul Willen, 2000. "On the Gains to International Trade in Risky Financial Assets," NBER Working Papers 7796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Is Business Cycle Volatility Costly? Evidence from Surveys of Subjective Wellbeing," NBER Working Papers 9619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hess, Gregory D. & Shin, Kwanho, 2000. "Risk sharing by households within and across regions and industries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 533-560, June.
  16. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  17. Mario J Crucini & Gregory D Hess, 1999. "International and Intranational Risk Sharing," CESifo Working Paper Series 227, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Chris Otrok, 1999. "On Measuring the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Virginia Economics Online Papers 318, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  19. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1994. "Evaluating risky consumption paths: The role of intertemporal substitutability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1471-1486, August.
  20. Hess, Gregory D & Shin, Kwanho, 1997. "International and Intranational Business Cycles," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 93-109, Autumn.
  21. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 1997. "Balanced-Budget Rules, Distortionary Taxes, and Aggregate Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 976-1000, October.
  22. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-83, December.
  23. Stefano G. Athanasoulis & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Risk Sharing Within The United States: What Do Financial Markets And Fiscal Federalism Accomplish?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 688-698, November.
  24. Jim Dolmas, 1998. "Risk Preferences and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 646-676, July.
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