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On the welfare costs of business cycles in the 20th century

Listed author(s):
  • Issler, João Victor
  • Guillen, Osmani Teixeira Carvalho

Lucas (1987) has shown a surprising result in business-cycle research, that the welfare cost of business cycles are relatively small. Using standard assumptions on preferences and a reasonable reduced form for consumption, we computed these welfare costs for the pre- and post-WWII era, using three alternative trend-cycle decomposition methods. The post-WWII period is very era this basic result is dramatically altered. For the Beveridge and Nelson decomposition, and reasonable preference parameter and discount values, we get a compensation of about 5% of consumption, which is by all means a sizable welfare cost (about US$ 1,000.00 a year).

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 481.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:481
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