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Sticky price models of the business cycle: can the contract multiplier solve the persistence problem?

  • V. V. Chari
  • Patrick J. Kehoe
  • Ellen R. McGrattan

We construct a quantitative equilibrium model with price setting and use it to ask whether with staggered price setting monetary shocks can generate business cycle fluctuations. These fluctuations include persistent output fluctuations along with the other defining features of business cycles, like volatile investment and smooth consumption. We assume that prices are exogenously sticky for a short period of time. Persistent output fluctuations require endogenous price stickiness in the sense that firms choose not to change prices very much when they can do so. We find that for a wide range of parameter values the amount of endogenous stickiness is small. As a result, we find that in a standard quantitative business cycle model staggered price setting, by itself, does not generate business cycle fluctuations.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 217.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Publication status: Published in Econometrica (Vol. 68, No. 5, September 2000, pp. 1151-79)
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:217
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  1. Basu, S., 1993. "Intermediate Goods and Business Cycles: Implications for Productivity and Welfare," Papers 93-23, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  2. Rotemberg, Julio J., 1996. "Prices, output, and hours: An empirical analysis based on a sticky price model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 505-533, June.
  3. Kenneth D. West, 1987. "On the Interpretation of Near Random-Walk Behavior in GNP," NBER Working Papers 2364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cho, Jang-Ok & Cooley, Thomas F, 1995. "The Business Cycle with Nominal Contracts," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 13-33, June.
  5. Phelps, Edmund S & Taylor, John B, 1977. "Stabilizing Powers of Monetary Policy under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 163-90, February.
  6. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1993. "Optimal fiscal policy in a business cycle model," Staff Report 160, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1982. "Price Asynchronization and Price Level Inertia," NBER Working Papers 0900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  9. Laurence M. Ball & David Romer, 1987. "Are Prices Too Sticky?," NBER Working Papers 2171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Robert G. King & Mark W. Watson, 1995. "Money, prices, interest rates and the business cycle," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lee E. Ohanian & Alan C. Stockman, 1994. "Short-run effects on money when some prices are sticky," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 1-24.
  13. Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Real Effects of Monetary Shocks in an Economy with Sequential Purchases," NBER Working Papers 4250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ellen R. McGrattan, 1993. "Solving the stochastic growth model with a finite element method," Staff Report 164, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  16. Miles S. Kimball & Michael Woodford, 1994. "The quantitative analysis of the basic neomonetarist model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1241-1289.
  17. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
  18. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
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