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Maintenance expenditures and indeterminacy under increasing returns to scale

  • Jang-Ting Guo
  • Kevin J. Lansing

This paper develops a one-sector real business cycle model in which competitive firms allocate resources for the production of goods, investment in new capital, and maintenance of existing capital. Firms also choose the utilization rate of existing capital. A higher utilization rate leads to faster capital depreciation, while an increase in maintenance activity has the opposite effect. We show that as the equilibrium ratio of maintenance expenditures to GDP rises, the required degree of increasing returns for local indeterminacy declines over a wide range of parameter combinations. When the model is calibrated to match empirical evidence on the relative size of maintenance and repair activity, we find that local indeterminacy (and belief-driven fluctuations) can occur with a mild and empirically-plausible degree of increasing returns–around 1.08.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2005-10.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2005-10
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  1. Benhabib, J. & Meng, Q. & Nishimura, K., 1999. "Indeterminacy Under Constant Returns to Scale in Multisector Economies," Working Papers 99-17, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Jess Benhabib & Roger E.A. Farmer, 1992. "Indeterminacy and Increasing Returns," UCLA Economics Working Papers 646, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  5. Benhabib, Jess & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1996. "Indeterminancy and Sunspots with Constant Returns," Working Papers 96-44, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Farmer Roger E. A. & Guo Jang-Ting, 1994. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 42-72, June.
  7. Ellen R. McGrattan & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 1999. "Maintenance and repair: too big to ignore," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 2-13.
  8. Weder, Mark, 2000. "Animal spirits, technology shocks and the business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 273-295, February.
  9. Wen, Yi, 1998. "Capacity Utilization under Increasing Returns to Scale," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 7-36, July.
  10. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
  11. Harrison, Sharon G., 2001. "Indeterminacy in a model with sector-specific externalities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 747-764, May.
  12. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  13. Pintus, Patrick A., 2004. "Expectations-Driven Fluctuations When Factor Utilization Is Variable," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 3-26, February.
  14. Guo, Jang-Ting & Harrison, Sharon G., 2001. "Indeterminacy with capital utilization and sector-specific externalities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 355-360, September.
  15. repec:cup:macdyn:v:8:y:2004:i:1:p:3-26 is not listed on IDEAS
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