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Markups and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles: A Reappraisal




Gali et al. (2007) have recently shown in a quantitative way that inefficient fluctuations in the allocation of resources do not generate sizable welfare costs. In this note, we show that their evaluation underestimates the welfare costs of inefficient fluctuations and propose a biased estimate of the impact of structural distortions on business cycle costs. As monopolistic suppliers, both firms and households aim at preserving their expected markups; the interaction between aggregate fluctuations in the efficiency gap and price-setting behaviors results in making average consumption and employment lower than their counterparts in the flexible price economy. This level increases the welfare cost of business cycles. It is all the more sizable in that the degree of inefficiency is structurally high at the steady state

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  • Jean-Olivier Hairault & François Langot, 2010. "Markups and the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles: A Reappraisal," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 10043, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:10043

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Inflation Stabilization And Welfare: The Case Of A Distorted Steady State," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1185-1236, December.
    2. Sutherland, Alan, 2002. "A Simple Second-Order Solution Method For Dynamic General Equilibrium Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 3554, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 825-860.
    4. Attanasio, Orazio P, et al, 1999. "Humps and Bumps in Lifetime Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 22-35, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eleni Iliopulos & François Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2014. "Welfare Cost of Fluctuations: when Labor Market Search Interacts with Financial Frictions," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14042, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.

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    Business cycle costs; inefficiency gap; new-Keynesian macroeconomics;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian

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