On the Welfare Costs of Business-Cycle Fluctuations and Economic-Growth Variation in the 20th Century
Lucas(1987) has shown a surprising result in business-cycle research: the welfare cost of business cycles are very small. Our paper has several original contributions. First, in computing welfare costs, we propose a novel setup that separates the effects of uncertainty stemming from business-cycle uctuations and economic-growth variation. Second, we extend the sample from which to compute the moments of consumption: the whole of the literature chose primarily to work with post-WWII data. For this period, actual consumption is already a result of counter- cyclical policies, and is potentially smoother than what it otherwise have been in their absence. So, we employ also pre-WWII data. Third, we take an econometric approach and compute explicitly the asymptotic standard deviation of welfare costs using the Delta Method. Estimates of welfare costs show major diferences for the pre-WWII and the post-WWII era. They can reach up to 15 times for reasonable parameter values = 0:985, and = 5. For example, in the pre-WWII period (1901-1941), welfare cost estimates are 0.31% of consumption if we consider only permanent shocks and 0.61% of consumption if we consider only transitory shocks. In comparison, the post-WWII era is much quieter: welfare costs of economic growth are 0.11% and welfare costs of business cycles are 0.037% the latter being very close to the estimate in Lucas (0.040%). Estimates of marginal welfare costs are roughly twice the size of the total welfare costs. For the pre-WWII era, marginal welfare costs of economic-growth and business- cycle uctuations are respectively 0.63% and 1.17% of per-capita consumption. The same gures for the post-WWII era are, respectively, 0.21% and 0.07% of per-capita consumption.
|Date of creation:||17 Oct 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://epge.fgv.br
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.:
- Otrok, Christopher, 2001.
"On measuring the welfare cost of business cycles,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-92, February.
- Chris Otrok, 1999. "On Measuring the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Virginia Economics Online Papers 318, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
- Christopher Otrok, 2000. "On Measuring the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1094, Econometric Society.
- 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.
- Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Adrien Verdelhan, 2008.
"The Wealth-Consumption Ratio,"
NBER Working Papers
13896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
- Proietti, Tommaso, 1997. "Short-Run Dynamics in Cointegrated Systems," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(3), pages 405-22, August.
- Márcio Antônio Salvato & João Victor Issler & Angelo Mont'alverne Duarte, 2005. "Are Business Cycles All Alike In Europe?," Anais do XXXIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 33th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 031, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
- Issler, Joao Victor & Vahid, Farshid, 2001. "Common cycles and the importance of transitory shocks to macroeconomic aggregates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 449-475, June.
- Zellner, A., 1992. "Statistics, Science and Public Policy," Papers 92-21, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
- Vahid, F & Engle, Robert F, 1993. "Common Trends and Common Cycles," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 341-60, Oct.-Dec..
- Andrew Atkeson & Christopher Phelan, 1994.
"Reconsidering the Costs of Business Cycles with Incomplete Markets,"
NBER Working Papers
4719, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:735. 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: (Núcleo de Computação da EPGE)
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.