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On the Welfare Costs of Business-Cycle Fluctuations and Economic-Growth Variation in the 20th Century and Beyond

  • Guillén, Osmani Teixeira de Carvalho
  • Issler, João Victor
  • Franco-Neto, Afonso Arinos de Mello

The main objective of this paper is to propose a novel setup that allows estimating sepa- rately the welfare costs of the uncertainty stemming from business-cycle uctuations and from economic-growth variation, when the two types of shocks associated with them (respectively,transitory and permanent shocks) hit consumption simultaneously. Separating these welfare costs requires dealing with degenerate bivariate distributions. Levi s Continuity Theorem and the Disintegration Theorem allow us to adequately de ne the one-dimensional limiting marginal distributions. Under Normality, we show that the parameters of the original marginal distri- butions are not a¤ected, providing the means for calculating separately the welfare costs of business-cycle uctuations and of economic-growth variation. Our empirical results show that, if we consider only transitory shocks, the welfare cost of business cycles is much smaller than previously thought. Indeed, we found it to be negative - -0:03% of per-capita consumption! On the other hand, we found that the welfare cost of economic-growth variation is relatively large. Our estimate for reasonable preference-parameter values shows that it is 0:71% of consumption US$ 208:98 per person, per year.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 748.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:748
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