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Non-convexities in quantitative general equilibrium studies of business cycles

  • Edward C. Prescott

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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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 312.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:312
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  1. 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.
  2. Scott Freeman & Finn Kydland, 1998. "Monetary aggregates and output," Working Paper 9813, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Edward C Prescott & Robert M Townsend, 1997. "General Competitive Analysis in an Economy with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1578, David K. Levine.
  4. Aubhik Khan & Julia Thomas, 2002. "Nonconvex factor adjustments in equilibrium business cycle models: Do nonlinearities matter?," Staff Report 306, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Karl Shell & Randall Wright, 2010. "Indivisibilities, Lotteries and Sunspot Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2061, David K. Levine.
  6. Bertola, Guiseppe & Caballero, Ricardo J, 1994. "Irreversibility and Aggregate Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 223-46, April.
  7. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine & Edward Prescott, 2000. "Lotteries, Sunspots and Incentive Constraints," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1974, David K. Levine.
  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. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," Papers 0062, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  10. Victoria Osuna Padilla & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2002. "Implementing the 35 Hour Workweek by Means of Overtime Taxation," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2002/04, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  11. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Taxes, regulations, and asset prices," Working Papers 610, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
  13. Abel, Andrew B & Eberly, Janice C, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 581-93, October.
  14. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  15. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. 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.
  17. Jorgenson, Dale W & Yun, Kun-Young, 1990. "Tax Reform and U.S. Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S151-93, October.
  18. 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.
  19. Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1996. "Work schedules, wages, and employment in a general equilibrium model with team production," Working Paper 9613, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  20. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  21. Shoven, John B. & Whalley, John, 1972. "A general equilibrium calculation of the effects of differential taxation of income from capital in the U.S," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 281-321, November.
  22. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  23. Arnold C. Harberger, 1968. "A Landmark in the Annals of Taxation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 1(s1), pages 183-194, February.
  24. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  25. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A, 1991. "Dynamic (S, s) Economies," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1659-86, November.
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