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Business cycle accounting

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

This paper proposes a simple method for guiding researchers in developing quantitative models of economic fluctuations. We show that a large class of models, including models with various frictions, are equivalent to a prototype growth model with time-varying wedges that, at least at face value, look like time-varying productivity, labor taxes, and capital income taxes. We label the time-varying wedges as efficiency wedges, labor wedges, and investment wedges. We use data to measure these wedges and then feed them back into the prototype growth model. We then assess the fraction of fluctuations accounted for by these wedges during the great depressions of the 1930s in the United States, Germany, and Canada. We find that the efficiency and labor wedges in combination account for essentially all of the declines and subsequent recoveries. Investment wedges play, at best, a minor role. (Replaced by Staff Report No: 328)

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 625.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:625
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  7. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2002. "Markups, gaps, and the welfare costs of business fluctuations," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0204, Banco de Espa�a.
  8. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2002. "Accounting for the Great Depression (technical appendix)," Working Papers 619, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Bencivenga, V.R. & Smith, B.D., 1988. "Financial Intermediation And Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 124, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  10. Russell Cooper & Joao Ejarque, 1994. "Financial Intermediation and Aggregate Fluctuations: A Quantative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 4819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alan C. Stockman & Linda L. Tesar, 1990. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," NBER Working Papers 3566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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