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Behavioral Theories of the Business Cycle

  • Nir Jaimovich
  • Sergio Rebelo

We explore the business cycle implications of expectation shocks and of two well-known psychological biases, optimism and overconfidence. The expectations of optimistic agents are biased toward good outcomes, while overconfident agents overestimate the precision of the signals that they receive. Both expectation shocks and overconfidence can increase business-cycle volatility, while preserving the model's properties in terms of comovement, and relative volatilities. In contrast, optimism is not a useful source of volatility in our model.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12570.

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Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2007. "Behavioral Theories of the Business Cycle," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 361-368, 04-05.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12570
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  1. Jonathan Parker & Markus K Brunnermeier, 2002. "Optimal Expectations," FMG Discussion Papers dp434, Financial Markets Group.
  2. Jaimovich, Nir & Rebelo, Sérgio, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Söderlind, Paul, 2005. "C-CAPM without Ex Post Data," SIFR Research Report Series 39, Institute for Financial Research.
  4. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
  5. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  6. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2001. "An Exploration into Pigou's Theory of Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 2996, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Donaldson, John B. & Johnsen, Thore, 1998. "Productivity growth, consumer confidence and the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1113-1140, June.
  8. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  9. Christiano, Lawrence & Ilut, Cosmin & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2008. "Monetary policy and stock market boom-bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0955, European Central Bank.
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