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Missing Aggregate Dynamics: On the Slow Convergence of Lumpy Adjustment Models

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Abstract

The dynamic response of aggregate variables to shocks is one of the central concerns of applied macroeconomics. The main measurement procedure for these dynamics consists of estimmiating an ARMA or VAR (VARs, for short). In non- or semi-structural approaches, the characterization of dynamics stops there. In other, more structural approaches, researcher try to uncover underlying adjustment cost parameters from the estimated VARs. Yet, in others, such as in RBC models, these estimates are used as the benchmark over which the success of the calibration exercise, and the need for further theorizing, is assessed. The main point of this paper is that when the microeconomic adjustment underlying the corresponding aggregates is lumpy, conventional VARs procedures are often inadequate for all of the above practices. In particular, the researcher will conclude that there is less persistence in the response of aggregate variables to aggregate shocks than there really is. Paradoxically, while idiosyncratic productivity and demand shocks smooth away microeconomic non-convexities and are often used as a justification for approximating aggregate dynamics with linear models, their presence exacerbate the bias. Since in practice idiosyncratic uncertainty is many times larger than aggregate uncertainty, we conclude that the problem of missing aggregate dynamics is prevalent in empirical and quantitative macroeconomic research.

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  • Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 2003. "Missing Aggregate Dynamics: On the Slow Convergence of Lumpy Adjustment Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1430, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1430
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Wadsworth, 2010. "Did the National Minimum Wage Affect UK Prices?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 81-120, March.
    2. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez & Thomas J. Sargent & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "ABCs (and Ds) of Understanding VARs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 1021-1026, June.
    3. Patrick Lünnemann & Thomas Y. Mathä, 2010. "Rigidities and inflation persistence of services and regulated prices," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2-3), pages 193-208.
    4. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 733-772, May.
    5. Denis Fougere & Erwan Gautier & Herve Le Bihan, 2010. "Restaurant Prices and the Minimum Wage," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(7), pages 1199-1234, October.
    6. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem, 2011. "On the dynamics of international inflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 189-191, August.
    7. Calmès, Christian & Théoret, Raymond, 2010. "The impact of off-balance-sheet activities on banks returns: An application of the ARCH-M to Canadian data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1719-1728, July.
    8. Juan Pablo Medina G. & David Rappoport W. & Claudio Soto G., 2007. "Dynamics of Price Adjustments: Evidence From Micro Level Data For Chile," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 10(2), pages 5-26, August.
    9. Gita Gopinath & Roberto Rigobon, 2006. "Sticky Borders," NBER Working Papers 12095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    11. Zorn, Peter, 2016. "Investment under Rational Inattention: Evidence from US Sectoral Data," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145572, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Todd E. Clark, 2006. "Disaggregate evidence on the persistence of consumer price inflation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 563-587.
    13. Filippo Altissimo & Michael Ehrmann & Frank Smets, 2006. "Inflation persistence and price-setting behaviour in the euro area – a summary of the IPN evidence," Occasional Paper Series 46, European Central Bank.
    14. Xavier Gabaix, 2004. "Power laws and the origins of aggregate fluctuations," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 484, Econometric Society.
    15. Adams, Zeno & Füss, Roland, 2010. "Macroeconomic determinants of international housing markets," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 38-50, March.
    16. Mojon, Benoît & Altissimo, Filippo & Zaffaroni, Paolo, 2007. "Fast micro and slow macro: can aggregation explain the persistence of inflation?," Working Paper Series 729, European Central Bank.
    17. Daniele Coen-Pirani, 2004. "Markups, Aggregation, and Inventory Adjustment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1328-1353, December.
    18. Christian Calmès & Raymond Théoret, 2008. "Banking Deregulation and Financial Stability : is it Time to re-regulate in Canada ?," RePAd Working Paper Series UQO-DSA-wp042008, Département des sciences administratives, UQO.

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    Keywords

    Speed of adjustment; Discrete adjustment; Lumpy adjustment; Aggregation; Calvo model; ARMA process; Partial adjustment; Expected response time; Monetary policy; Investment; Labor demand; Sticky prices; Idiosyncratic shocks; Impulse response function; Time-to-build;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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