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The econometrics of the general equilibrium approach to business cycles

  • Finn E. Kydland
  • Edward C. Prescott

The founding fathers of the Econometric Society defined econometrics to be quantitative economic theory. A vision of theirs was the use of econometrics to provide quantitative answers to business cycle questions. The realization of this dream required a number of advances in pure theory—in particular, the development of modern general equilibrium theory. The econometric problem is how to use these tools along with measurement to answer business cycles questions. In this essay, we review this econometric development and contrast it with the econometric approach that preceded it.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 130.

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Date of creation: 1990
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Publication status: Published in Scandinavian Journal of Economics (Vol. 93, n.2, 1991, pp.161-178)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:130
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  1. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1988. "The Inflation Tax In A Real Business Cycle Model," RCER Working Papers 155, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Gomme, P. & Greenwood, J., 1992. "On the Cyclical Allocation of Risk," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9205, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  5. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  6. Hicks, J. R., 1975. "Value and Capital: An Inquiry into some Fundamental Principles of Economic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780198282693, March.
  7. Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1989. "Hours and employment variation in business cycle theory," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 17, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  9. John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1972. "A General Equilibrium Calculation of the Effects of Differential Taxation of Income from Capital in the U.S," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 328, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum, 1988. "Real Business Cycle Models," NBER Working Papers 2480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1969. "Real Wages, Employment, and Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 721-54, Sept./Oct.
  12. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  13. Hornstein, Andreas, 1993. "Monopolistic competition, increasing returns to scale, and the importance of productivity shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 299-316, June.
  14. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  15. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & John B. DONALDSON, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Real Business Cycle," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 8803, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  16. Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1990. "Business cycles: real facts and a monetary myth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-18.
  17. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & Thomas J. Sargent, 1979. "After Keynesian macroeconomics," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr.
  18. Imrohoruglu, Ayse, 1989. "Cost of Business Cycles with Indivisibilities and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1364-83, December.
  19. Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1996. "Life-Cycle Economies and Aggregate Fluctuations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 465-89, July.
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