IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On Measuring the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles

  • Christopher Otrok

    (University of Virginia)

Lucas (1987) argues that the gain from eliminating aggregate fluctuations is trivial. Following Lucas, a number of researchers have altered assumptions on preferences and found that the gain from eliminating business cycles are potentially very large. However, in these exercises little discipline is placed on preference parameters. This paper estimates the welfare cost of business cycles, allowing for potential time-non-separabilities in preferences, where discipline is placed on the choice of preference parameters by requiring that the preferences be consistent with observed fluctuations in a model of business cycles. That is, a theoretical real business cycle world is constructed and the representative agent is then placed in this world. The agent responds optimally to exogenous shocks, given the frictions in the economy. The agent's preference parameters, along with other structural parameters, are estimated using a Bayesian procedure involving Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods. Two main results emerge from the paper. First, the form for the time-non-separability estimated in this paper is very different than the forms suggested and used elsewhere in the literature. Second, the welfare cost of business cycles is close to Lucas's estimate.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/RePEc/es2000/1094.pdf
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1094.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1094
Contact details of provider: Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/pastmeetings.asp
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Wen, Yi, 1998. "Investment cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 1139-1165, May.
  2. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Thomas Tallarini, . "Risk-Sensitive Real Business Cycles," GSIA Working Papers 1997-35, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1997. "Comparison Utility in a Growth Model," NBER Working Papers 6138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Boldrin, Michele & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Fisher, Jonas D.M., 1997. "Habit Persistence And Asset Returns In An Exchange Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 312-332, June.
  6. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1996. "Indeterminacy and Sector-Specific Externalities," Working Papers 96-12, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Mark W. Watson, 1991. "Measures of fit for calibrated models," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1995. "Asset pricing lessons for modeling business cycles," Working Papers 560, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. repec:cup:macdyn:v:1:y:1997:i:2:p:312-32 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Pemberton, James, 1996. "Growth trends, cyclical fluctuations, and welfare with non-expected utility preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 387-392, March.
  11. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-51, December.
  12. Constantinides, George M, 1990. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
  13. Otrok, C. & Ravikumar, B. & Whiteman, C., 1998. "Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle?," Working Papers 98-04, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  14. Siddhartha Chib & Edward Greenberg, 1994. "Markov Chain Monte Carlo Simulation Methods in Econometrics," Econometrics 9408001, EconWPA, revised 24 Oct 1994.
  15. Perli, Roberto & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1998. "Human capital formation and business cycle persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-92, June.
  16. David N. DeJong & Beth F. Ingram & Charles H. Whiteman, 2000. "Keynesian impulses versus Solow residuals: identifying sources of business cycle fluctuations," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 311-329.
  17. Cooper, Russell W. & Johri, Alok, 1997. "Dynamic complementarities: A quantitative analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 97-119, September.
  18. Geweke, John, 1989. "Bayesian Inference in Econometric Models Using Monte Carlo Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1317-39, November.
  19. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
  20. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M., 1995. "Effects of the Hodrick-Prescott filter on trend and difference stationary time series Implications for business cycle research," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 253-278.
  21. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Lawrence J. Christiano & Wouter Den Haan, 1995. "Small sample properties of GMM for business cycle analysis," Staff Report 199, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  23. 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.
  24. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Gregory W. Huffman & Mark A. Wynne, 1995. "The role of intratemporal adjustment costs in a multi-sector economy," Working Papers 9508, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  26. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1993. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Abel, Andrew B., 1999. "Risk premia and term premia in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 3-33, February.
  28. Wincoop, Eric van, 1994. "Welfare gains from international risksharing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 175-200, October.
  29. Wen, Yi, 1998. "Can a real business cycle model pass the Watson test?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 185-203, June.
  30. repec:dgr:kubcen:199554 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
  32. John Y. Campbell, 1998. "Asset Prices, Consumption, and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1994. "Evaluating risky consumption paths: The role of intertemporal substitutability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1471-1486, August.
  34. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1995. "Saving and growth with habit formation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  35. John F. Geweke, 1995. "Posterior simulators in econometrics," Working Papers 555, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  36. David N. DeJong & Beth F. Ingram & Yi Wen & Charles H. Whiteman, 1996. "Cyclical Implications of the Variable Utilization of Physical and Human Capital," Macroeconomics 9609004, EconWPA.
  37. Lettau, M. & Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 1995. "Can Habit Formation be Reconciled with Business Cycle Facts?," Discussion Paper 1995-54, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  38. David N. DeJong & Beth F. Ingram, 2001. "The Cyclical Behavior of Skill Acquisition," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 536-561, July.
  39. King, Robert G & Plosser, Charles I & Rebelo, Sergio T, 2002. "Production, Growth and Business Cycles: Technical Appendix," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 87-116, October.
  40. Eichenbaum, Martin S & Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1988. "A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption and Leisure Choice under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 51-78, February.
  41. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  42. Jess Benhabib & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1991. "Homework in macroeconomics: household production and aggregate fluctuations," Staff Report 135, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  43. Heaton, John, 1995. "An Empirical Investigation of Asset Pricing with Temporally Dependent Preference Specifications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 681-717, May.
  44. Rouwenhorst, K. Geert, 1991. "Time to build and aggregate fluctuations : A reconsideration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 241-254, April.
  45. 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.
  46. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  47. 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.
  48. Benhabib, Jess & Perli, Roberto & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1997. "Persistence of Business Cycles in Multisector RBC Models," Working Papers 97-19, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  49. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  50. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum, 1994. "Factor Hoarding and the Propagation of Business Cycles Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. repec:cup:etheor:v:12:y:1996:i:3:p:409-31 is not listed on IDEAS
  52. DeJong, David N. & Ingram, Beth F. & Whiteman, Charles H., 2000. "A Bayesian approach to dynamic macroeconomics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 203-223, October.
  53. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger, 1993. "Evidence on Macroeconomic Complementarities," NBER Working Papers 4577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Otrok, Christopher, 2001. "Spectral Welfare Cost Functions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 345-67, May.
  55. Martin Lettau & Harald Uhlig, 2000. "Can Habit Formation be Reconciled with Business Cycle Facts?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 79-99, January.
  56. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  57. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  58. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  59. Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1996. "Real-Business-Cycle Models and the Forecastable Movements in Output, Hours, and Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 71-89, March.
  60. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1094. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.