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Fat-Tail Distributions and Business-Cycle Models

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  • Guido Ascari
  • Giorgio Fagiolo
  • Andrea Roventini

Abstract

Recent empirical findings suggest that macroeconomic variables are seldom normally distributed. For example, the distributions of aggregate output growth-rate time series of many OECD countries are well approximated by symmetric exponential-power (EP) densities, with Laplace fat tails. In this work, we assess whether Real Business Cycle (RBC) and standard medium-scale New-Keynesian (NK) models are able to replicate this statistical regularity. We simulate both models drawing Gaussian- vs Laplace-distributed shocks and we explore the statistical properties of simulated time series. Our results cast doubts on whether RBC and NK models are able to provide a satisfactory representation of the transmission mechanisms linking exogenous shocks to macroeconomic dynamics.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Ascari & Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2012. "Fat-Tail Distributions and Business-Cycle Models," EconomiX Working Papers 2012-7, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
  • Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2012-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giorgio Fagiolo & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini, 2008. "Are output growth-rate distributions fat-tailed? some evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 639-669.
    2. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M, 1995. "Output Dynamics in Real-Business-Cycle Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 492-511, June.
    3. Giorgio Fagiolo & Mauro Napoletano & Marco Piazza & Andrea Roventini, 2009. "Detrending and the Distributional Properties of U.S. Output Time Series," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 3155-3161.
    4. Carolina Castaldi & Giovanni Dosi, 2009. "The patterns of output growth of firms and countries: Scale invariances and scale specificities," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 475-495, December.
    5. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2003. "Sectoral Specifities in the Dynamics of U.S. Manufacturing Firms," LEM Papers Series 2003/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 823-866.
    7. Carolina Castaldi & Sandro Sapio, 2008. "Growing like mushrooms? Sectoral evidence from four large European economies," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 509-527, August.
    8. Posch, Olaf, 2009. "Structural estimation of jump-diffusion processes in macroeconomics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 153(2), pages 196-210, December.
    9. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2006. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of the Symmetric and Asymmetric Exponential Power Distribution," LEM Papers Series 2006/19, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    10. Canning, D. & Amaral, L. A. N. & Lee, Y. & Meyer, M. & Stanley, H. E., 1998. "Scaling the volatility of GDP growth rates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 335-341, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ortiz, Marco, 2015. "Choques de colas anchas y política monetaria," Revista Estudios Económicos, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, issue 29, pages 17-31.
    2. Vasco Cúrdia & Marco Negro & Daniel L. Greenwald, 2014. "Rare Shocks, Great Recessions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(7), pages 1031-1052, November.
    3. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:293-317 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Grilli, Ruggero & Tedeschi, Gabriele & Gallegati, Mauro, 2014. "Bank interlinkages and macroeconomic stability," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 72-88.
    5. Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2012. "Macroeconomic Policy in DSGE and Agent-Based Models," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(5), pages 67-116.
    6. repec:eee:intfor:v:33:y:2017:i:4:p:1124-1143 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Dosi, Giovanni & Fagiolo, Giorgio & Napoletano, Mauro & Roventini, Andrea & Treibich, Tania, 2015. "Fiscal and monetary policies in complex evolving economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 166-189.
    8. Chiu, Ching-Wai (Jeremy) & Mumtaz, Haroon & Pintér, Gábor, 2017. "Forecasting with VAR models: Fat tails and stochastic volatility," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 1124-1143.
    9. Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Mauro Napoletano & Tania Treibich, 2014. "The Short-and Long-Run Damages of Fiscal Austerity: Keynes beyond Schumpeter," Sciences Po publications 22, Sciences Po.
    10. Giovanni Dosi & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini & Joseph E. Stiglitz & Tania Treibich, 2017. "Rational Heuristics? Expectations and Behaviors in Evolving Economies with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents," LEM Papers Series 2017/31, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    11. Grazzini, Jakob & Richiardi, Matteo, 2015. "Estimation of ergodic agent-based models by simulated minimum distance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 148-165.
    12. Reiner Franke, 2015. "How Fat-Tailed is US Output Growth?," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 213-242, May.
    13. Matteo G. Richiardi, 2015. "The future of agent-based modelling," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 141, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    14. repec:eee:ecosta:v:6:y:2018:i:c:p:44-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Williams, Michael A. & Baek, Grace & Li, Yiyang & Park, Leslie Y. & Zhao, Wei, 2017. "Global evidence on the distribution of GDP growth rates," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 468(C), pages 750-758.
    16. Nelimarkka, Jaakko, 2017. "Evidence on News Shocks under Information Deficiency," MPRA Paper 80850, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Paul De Grauwe & Yuemei Ji, 2017. "Analyzing Structural Reforms Using a Behavioral Macroeconomic Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 6518, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Ortiz, Marco, 2014. "Fat-Tailed Shocks and the Central Bank Reaction," Working Papers 2014-002, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    19. repec:spr:jbuscr:v:14:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s41549-018-0027-z is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Ching-Wai (Jeremy) Chiu & Haroon Mumtaz & Gabor Pinter, 2014. "Fat-tails in VAR Models," Working Papers 714, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth-Rate Distributions; Normality; Fat Tails; Time Series; Exponential-Power Distributions; Laplace Distributions; DSGE Models; RBC Models;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles

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