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Endogenous Business Cycles and the Economic Response to Exogenous Shocks

  • Stéphane Hallegatte

    (Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement and Ecole Nationale de la Météorologie)

  • Michael Ghil

    (University of California)

In this paper, we investigate the macroeconomic response to exogenous shocks, namely natural disasters and stochastic productivity shocks. To do so, we make use of an endogenous business cycle model in which cyclical behavior arises from the investment–profit instability; the amplitude of this instability is constrained by the increase in labor costs and the inertia of production capacity and thus results in a finite-amplitude business cycle. This model is found to exhibit a larger response to natural disasters during expansions than during recessions, because the exogenous shock amplifies pre-existing disequilibria when occurring during expansions, while the existence of unused resources during recessions allows for damping the shock. Our model also shows a higher output variability in response to stochastic productivity shocks during expansions than during recessions. This finding is at odds with the classical real-cycle theory, but it is supported by the analysis of quarterly U.S. Gross Domestic Product series; the latter series exhibits, on average, a variability that is 2.6 times larger during expansions than during recessions.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2007.20.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2007.20
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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Day, Richard H, 1982. "Irregular Growth Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 406-14, June.
  3. Grandmont Jean-michel, 1983. "On endogenous competitive business cycles," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8316, CEPREMAP.
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  5. Charlotte Benson & Edward J. Clay, 2004. "Understanding the Economic and Financial Impacts of Natural Disasters," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15025, June.
  6. Benhabib, Jess & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1979. "The hopf bifurcation and the existence and stability of closed orbits in multisector models of optimal economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 421-444, December.
  7. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
  8. Albala-Bertrand, J. M., 1993. "Political Economy of Large Natural Disasters: With Special Reference to Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287650, March.
  9. Hallegatte, Stéphane & Ghil, Michael & Dumas, Patrice & Hourcade, Jean-Charles, 2008. "Business cycles, bifurcations and chaos in a neo-classical model with investment dynamics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 57-77, July.
  10. Hallegatte, Stephane & Hourcade, Jean-Charles & Dumas, Patrice, 2007. "Why economic dynamics matter in assessing climate change damages: Illustration on extreme events," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 330-340, April.
  11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521643511 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2004. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0391, European Central Bank.
  14. Martin Ellison & Andrew Scott, 2001. "Sticky prices and volatile output," Bank of England working papers 127, Bank of England.
  15. Frank Hahn & Robert Solow, 1997. "A Critical Essay on Modern Macroeconomic Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026258154x, June.
  16. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
  17. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521850254 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Carl Chiarella & Peter Flaschel & G. Gong & Willi Semmler, 2002. "Nonlinear Phillips Curves, Complex Dynamics and Monetary Policy in a Keynesian Macro Model," Working Paper Series 120, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  20. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Capacity constraints, asymmetries, and the business cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 850-865, October.
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