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Keynesian conundrum: multiplicity and time consistent stabilization

  • Bill Dupor

This paper identifies a novel form of dynamic inconsistency of stabilization policy in increasing returns models that generate multiple equilibria. We present a two-period version of the Benhabib-Farmer (1994) externalities model and derive closed-form solutions for all endogenous variables in every perfect foresight equilibrium. We provide conditions under which the stabilization policy that maximizes time zero consumer welfare is not time consistent. Furthermore, we characterize the time consistent stabilization policy. Our results cast doubts on the usefulness of government coordination of economic activity when the government lacks a commitment mechanism. Without commitment, a benevolent government can rule out multiplicity only by ensuring that a pareto dominated equilibrium obtains.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics with number 131.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:131
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  1. Fudenberg, Drew & Diamond, Peter, 1989. "Rational Expectations Business Cycles in Search Equilibrium," Scholarly Articles 3374509, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1991. "Indeterminacy and Increasing Returns," Working Papers 91-59, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Azariadis, Costas, 1981. "Self-fulfilling prophecies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 380-396, December.
  4. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1988. "Multiple Expectational Equilibria under Monopolistic Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 695-713, November.
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  7. Howitt, P. & Mcfee, R.P., 1990. "Animal Spirits," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9005, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  8. Lawrence J. Christiano & Sharon G. Harrison, 1996. "Chaos, Sunspots, and Automatic Stabilizers," NBER Working Papers 5703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Basu, S. & Fernald, J.G., 1993. "Are Apparent Productive Spillovers a Figment of Specification Error," Papers 93-22, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  10. Bennett, R.L. & Farmer, R.E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy with Non-Separable Utility," Economics Working Papers eco99/34, European University Institute.
  11. 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.
  12. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  13. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1991. "Productive externalities and business cycles," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 53, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 1995. "Comparing four models of aggregate fluctuations due to self-fulfilling expectations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  16. Azariadis, Costas & Guesnerie, Roger, 1986. "Sunspots and Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 725-37, October.
  17. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
  18. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Woodford, Michael, 1997. "Self-Fulfilling Prophecies And The Business Cycle," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(04), pages 740-769, December.
  19. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 1988. "Time consistency and policy," Staff Report 115, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  20. Shleifer, Andrei, 1986. "Implementation Cycles," Scholarly Articles 3451303, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. Satyajit Chatterjee & Russell W. Cooper & B. Ravikumar, 1993. "Strategic complementarity in business formation: aggregate fluctuations and sunspot equilibria," Working Papers 93-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  22. C. Monica Capra & Charles A. Holt, 1999. "Coordination," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 630-636, January.
  23. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1991. "Increasing Returns, Industrialization, and Indeterminacy of Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 617-50, May.
  24. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  25. Philippe Weil, 1989. "Increasing Returns and Animal Spirits," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8681, Sciences Po.
  26. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital utilization and returns to scale," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  27. repec:cup:macdyn:v:1:y:1997:i:4:p:740-69 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Roger E.A. Farmer, 1994. "The Econometrics of Indeterminacy: An Applied Study," UCLA Economics Working Papers 720, UCLA Department of Economics.
  29. 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.).
  30. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8681 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Michael Woodford, 1990. "Self-Fulfilling Expectations and Fluctuations in Aggregate Demand," NBER Working Papers 3361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  33. Woodford, Michael, 1987. "Three Questions about Sunspot Equilibria as an Explanation of Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 93-98, May.
  34. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "Sustainable monetary policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 87-108, November.
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