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Fiscal shocks in an efficiency wage model

  • Craig Burnside
  • Martin Eichenbaum
  • Jonas D.M. Fisher

This paper illustrates a particular limited information strategy for assessing the empirical plausibility of alternative quantitative general equilibrium business cycle models. The basic strategy is to test whether a model economy can account for the response of actual economy to an exogenous shock. Here we concentrate on the response of aggregate hours worked and real wages to a fiscal policy shock. The fiscal policy shock is identified with the dynamic response of government purchases and averages marginal income tax rates to an exogenous increase in military purchases. Burnside, Eichenbaum and Fisher (1999) show that standard Real business Cycle models cannot account for the salient features of how hours worked and after - tax real wages respond to a fiscal policy shock. In this paper we show that this failure extends to a class of business cycle models in which the labor is characterized by efficiency wages.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-99-19.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-99-19
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  1. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1989. "Oligopolistic Pricing and the Effects of Aggregate Demand on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 3206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano, 1998. "Solving dynamic equilibrium models by a method of undetermined coefficients," Working Paper 9804, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Modeling Money," NBER Working Papers 6371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 90, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum, 1994. "Factor Hoarding and the Propagation of Business Cycles Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Eichenbaum, Martin S & Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1988. "A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption and Leisure Choice under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 51-78, February.
  7. Stephenson, E. Frank, 1998. "Average marginal tax rates revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 389-409, April.
  8. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998. "Understanding the Effects of a Shock to Government Purchases," NBER Working Papers 6737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Devereux, Michael B & Head, Allen C & Lapham, Beverly J, 1996. "Monopolistic Competition, Increasing Returns, and the Effects of Government Spending," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 233-54, May.
  10. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1999. "Costly Capital Reallocation and the Effects of Government Spending," NBER Working Papers 6283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Seater, John J., 1985. "On the construction of marginal federal personal and social security tax rates in the U.S," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 121-135, January.
  12. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  13. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-34, June.
  14. Alexopoulos, Michelle, 2004. "Unemployment and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 277-298, March.
  15. Jonathan Gruber, 1994. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Barro, Robert J & Sahasakul, Chaipat, 1983. "Measuring the Average Marginal Tax Rate from the Individual Income Tax," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 419-52, October.
  17. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Assessing the effects of fiscal shocks," Working Paper Series WP-99-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  18. Gruber, Jonathan, 1997. "The Consumption Smoothing Benefits of Unemployment Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 192-205, March.
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