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Imperfect competition and sunspots

  • Pengfei Wang
  • Yi Wen

This paper shows that imperfect competition can be a rich source of sunspots equilibria and coordination failures. This is demonstrated in a dynamic general equilibrium model that has no major distortions except imperfect competition. In the absence of fundamental shocks, the model has a unique certainty (fundamental) equilibrium. But there is also a continuum of stochastic (sunspots) equilibria that are not mere randomizations over fundamental equilibria. Markup is always counter-cyclical in sunspots equilibria, which is consistent with empirical evidence. The paper provides a justification for exogenous variations over time in desired markups, which play an important role as a source of cost-push shocks in the monetary policy literature. We show that fluctuations driven by self-fulfilling expectations (or sunspots) look very similar to fluctuations driven by technology shocks, and we prove that such fluctuations are welfare reducing.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2006-015.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2006-015
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  25. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2001. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1922, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  26. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 8071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Open versus Closed Economies: An Integrated Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 248-252, May.
  28. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038, June.
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