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Sector-specific Markup Fluctuations and the Business Cycle

  • Alain Gabler

The counter-cyclicality in the relative price of equipment investment which is observed in the U.S. has been attributed to equipment-specific productivity shocks. Cross-country evidence indicates that a number of countries experience sizeable delays between a surge in equipment production and a fall in its relative price, which is difficult to reconcile with sector-specific shocks. I show that in the presence of sector specific, time-varying markups, relative price movements arise as a direct consequence of consumption smoothing, even if all shocks are aggregate, while barriers to firm entry lead to delays in relative price responses. A calibrated version of the model explains around one-third of the relative price fluctuations which are observed in the U.S., as well as the qualitative differences in the behaviour of this relative price across countries.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/25.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/25
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  1. Steve Ambler & Emanuela Cardia, 1998. "The Cyclical Behaviour of Wages and Profits under Imperfect Competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 148-164, February.
  2. Hornstein, Andreas & Praschnik, Jack, 1997. "Intermediate inputs and sectoral comovement in the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 573-595, December.
  3. Bentolila Samuel & Saint-Paul Gilles, 2003. "Explaining Movements in the Labor Share," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-33, October.
  4. Dos Santos Ferreira, Rodolphe & Lloyd-Braga, Teresa, 2005. "Non-linear endogenous fluctuations with free entry and variable markups," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 847-871, May.
  5. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & López-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," CEPR Discussion Papers 2953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Petya Koeva Brooks, 2000. "The Facts About Time: To-Build," IMF Working Papers 00/138, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2010. "Redistributive shocks and productivity shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(8), pages 931-948, November.
  8. Collard, Fabrice & Juillard, Michel, 2001. "A Higher-Order Taylor Expansion Approach to Simulation of Stochastic Forward-Looking Models with an Application to a Nonlinear Phillips Curve Model," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 17(2-3), pages 125-39, June.
  9. Harry Bloch & Michael Olive, 2001. "Pricing over the Cycle," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 99-108, August.
  10. Joaquim Oliveira Martins & Stefano Scarpetta, 2002. "Estimation of the Cyclical Behaviour of Mark-ups: A Technical Note," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2002(1), pages 173-188.
  11. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  12. Whelan, Karl, 2002. "A Guide to U.S. Chain Aggregated NIPA Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(2), pages 217-33, June.
  13. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2006. "The Dynamic Effects of Neutral and Investment-Specific Technology Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 413-451, June.
  14. Galeotti, Marzio & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1998. "The Cyclicality of Markups in a Model with Adjustment Costs: Econometric Evidence for US Industry," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(2), pages 121-42, May.
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