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Introducing financial frictions and unemployment into a small open economy model

  • Lawrence J. Christiano
  • Mathias Trabandt
  • Karl Walentin

The current financial crisis has made it abundantly clear that business cycle modeling can no longer abstract from financial factors. It is also clear that the current standard approach of modeling labor markets without explicit unemployment has its limitations. We extend what is becoming the standard new Keynesian model in three dimensions. First, we incorporate financial frictions in the accumulation and management of capital. Second, we model the labor market using a search and matching framework. Third, we extend the model into a small open economy setting. Finally, we estimate the model using Bayesian techniques with Swedish data. Our main results are as follows: (1) The financial shock to entrepreneurial wealth is pivotal for explaining business cycle fluctuations. It accounts for two-thirds of the variance in investment and a quarter of the variance in GDP. (2) The marginal efficiency of investment shock has very limited importance. The reason for this is that we match financial market data. (3) In contrast to the existing literature on estimated DSGE models, our model does not need any wage markup shocks or similar shocks with low autocorrelation to match the data. Furthermore, the low-frequency labor preference shock that we do allow is not important in explaining GDP. (4) The tightness of the labor market is unimportant for the cost of adjusting the workforce. In other words, there are costs of hiring but no significant costs of vacancy postings per se.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series CQER Working Paper with number 2010-04.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedacq:2010-04
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