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Inflation, Investment Composition and Total Factor Productivity

  • Stefan Niemann

    ()

  • Michael Evers
  • Marc Schiffbauer

This paper employs a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model with a financial market friction to rationalize the empirically observed negative relationship between inflation and total factor productivity (TFP). Specifically, an empirical analysis of US macroeconomic time series establishes that there is a negative causal effect of inflation on aggregate productivity. Rather than taking the productivity process as exogenous, the model is therefore set up to feature an endogenous component of TFP. This is achieved by allowing physical investment to be channelled into two distinct technologies: a safe, but return-dominated technology and a superior technology which is subject to idiosyncratic liquidity risk. An agency problem prevents complete insurance against liquidity risk, and the scope for insurance is endogenously determined via the relevant liquidity premium. Since the liquidity premium is positively related to the rate of inflation, the model demonstrates how nominal fluctuations have an influence not only on the overall amount, but also on the qualitative composition of aggregate investment and hence on TFP. The quantitative relevance of the underlying transmission mechanism which links nominal fluctuations to TFP via corporate liquidity holdings and the composition of aggregate investment is corroborated by means of the quantitative analysis of the calibrated model economy as well as a detailed analysis of industry-level and firm-level panel data. Notably, the empirical findings are consistent with both the properties of the agency problem postulated in the theoretical model and its implications for corporate liquidity holdings and physical investment portfolios.

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Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 632.

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Date of creation: 13 Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:632
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  1. Stockman, Alan C., 1981. "Anticipated inflation and the capital stock in a cash in-advance economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 387-393.
  2. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo Manuelli, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth," NBER Working Papers 3241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Working Papers 95-15, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. V.V. Chari & Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 1995. "The growth effects of monetary policy," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 18-32.
  6. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra56-1, May.
  7. Ryo Kato, 2004. "Liquidity, Infinite Horizons and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 622, Econometric Society.
  8. Walde, Klaus & Woitek, Ulrich, 2004. "R&D expenditure in G7 countries and the implications for endogenous fluctuations and growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 91-97, January.
  9. Meh, Cesaire A. & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2006. "Endogenous market incompleteness with investment risks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2143-2165, November.
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