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An Economical Business-Cycle Model

  • Pascal Michaillat
  • Emmanuel Saez

In recent decades, advanced economies have experienced low and stable inflation and long periods of liquidity trap. We construct an alternative business-cycle model capturing these two features by adding two assumptions to a money-in-the-utility-function model: the labor market is subject to matching frictions, and real wealth enters the utility function. These assumptions modify the two core equations of the standard New Keynesian model. With matching frictions, we can analyze equilibria in which inflation is fixed and not determined by a forward-looking Phillips curve. With wealth in the utility, the Euler equation is modified and we can obtain steady-state equilibria with a liquidity trap, positive inflation, and labor market slack. The model is simple enough to inspect the mechanisms behind cyclical fluctuations and to study the effects of conventional and unconventional monetary and fiscal policies. As a byproduct, the model provides microfoundations for the classical IS-LM model. Finally, we show how directed search can be combined with costly price adjustments to generate a forward-looking Phillips curve and recover some insights from the New Keynesian model.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19777.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19777
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  1. Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "The spirit of capitalism, social status, money, and accumulation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 68(3), pages 219-233, October.
  2. Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2011. "What Fiscal Policy is Effective at Zero Interest Rates?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2010, Volume 25, pages 59-112 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Karl Whelan & Jeremy Rudd, 2005. "Modelling inflation dynamics : a critical review of recent research," Open Access publications 10197/237, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  4. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "Aggregate demand, idle time, and unemployment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 61832, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Pascal Michaillat, 2010. "Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times," CEP Discussion Papers dp1024, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Michaillat, Pascal & Saez, Emmanuel, 2013. "A Model of Aggregate Demand and Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 9609, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
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  9. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
  10. Heng-fu Zou, 1995. "The spirit of capitalism and savings behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 131-143, September.
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  13. Federico Ravenna & Carl E. Walsh, 2009. "Welfare-based optimal monetary policy with unemployment and sticky prices: a linear-quadratic framework," Working Paper Series 2009-15, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew weinzierl, 2011. "An Exploration of Optimal Stabilization Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 209-272.
  15. Julio J. Rotemberg, 1982. "Monopolistic Price Adjustment and Aggregate Output," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 517-531.
  16. Laurence Ball & Sandeep Mazumder, 2011. "Inflation Dynamics and the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 337-405.
  17. Robert E. Hall, 2011. "The Long Slump," NBER Working Papers 16741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Erik Eyster & Kristof Madarasz & Pascal Michaillat, 2014. "The Curse of Inflation," Discussion Papers 1430, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  19. Rotemberg, Julio J., 2005. "Customer anger at price increases, changes in the frequency of price adjustment and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 829-852, May.
  20. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Paul Krugman, 2012. "Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1469-1513.
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