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Non-convexities in quantitative general equilibrium studies of business cycles

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  • Edward C. Prescott

Abstract

This paper reviews the role of micro non-convexities in the study of business cycles. One important non-convexity arises because an individual can work only one workweek length in a given week. The implication of this non-convexity is that the aggregate intertemporal elasticity of labor supply is large and the principal margin of adjustment is in the number employed-not in the hours per person employed-as observed. The paper also reviews a business cycle model with an occasionally binding capacity constraint. This model better mimics business cycle fluctuations than the standard real business cycle model. Aggregation in the presence of micro non-convexities is key in the model.

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  • Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Non-convexities in quantitative general equilibrium studies of business cycles," Staff Report 312, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:312
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
    2. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    3. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 581-593.
    4. Fernando Alvarez & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2002. "Money, Interest Rates, and Exchange Rates with Endogenously Segmented Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-112, February.
    5. Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1998. "Work Schedules, Wages and Employment in a General Equilibrium Model with Team Production," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(4), pages 809-834, October.
    6. Khan, Aubhik & Thomas, Julia K., 2003. "Nonconvex factor adjustments in equilibrium business cycle models: do nonlinearities matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 331-360, March.
    7. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    8. Julia K. Thomas, 2002. "Is Lumpy Investment Relevant for the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 508-534, June.
    9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    10. Prescott, Edward C & Townsend, Robert M, 1984. "General Competitive Analysis in an Economy with Private Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-20, February.
    11. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
    12. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
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    14. Shell, Karl & Wright, Randall, 1993. "Indivisibilities, Lotteries, and Sunspot Equilibria," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, January.
    15. Kehoe, Timothy J. & Levine, David K. & Prescott, Edward C., 2002. "Lotteries, Sunspots, and Incentive Constraints," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 39-69, November.
    16. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper & Laura Power, 1999. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 921-946, September.
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    19. Victoria Osuna & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Implementing the 35 Hour Workweek by Means of Overtime Taxation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 179-206, January.
    20. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Taxes, Regulations, and Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 8623, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A, 1991. "Dynamic (S, s) Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1659-1686, November.
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    23. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Capacity constraints, asymmetries, and the business cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 850-865, October.
    24. 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 721-754, Sept./Oct.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gourio, Francois & Kashyap, Anil K, 2007. "Investment spikes: New facts and a general equilibrium exploration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 1-22, September.
    2. Francois Gourio, 2007. "Disasters and Recoveries: A Note on the Barro-Rietz Explanation of the Equity Premium Puzzle," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-007, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    3. Nishimura, Kazuo & Rudnicki, Ryszard & Stachurski, John, 2006. "Stochastic optimal growth with nonconvexities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 74-96, February.
    4. Alexander Ueberfeldt, 2006. "Working Time over the 20th Century," Staff Working Papers 06-18, Bank of Canada.

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    Keywords

    Business cycles ; Equilibrium (Economics) ; Econometric models ; Labor supply;

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    1. Recursive Macroeconomic Theory

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