IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Labor Contracts and Business Cycles

  • Michele Boldrin
  • Michael Horvath

This paper investigates the claim, often put forth by Real Business Cycle proponents ("e.g. Prescott(1986)), that the poor performances of their models in matching real world aggregate labor market behavior are due to the fact that observed real wage payments do not correspond to the actual marginal productivity of labor but contain an insurance component which cannot be accounted for by the Walrasian pricing mechanism. To test this idea we dispense with the Walrasian description of the labor market and introduce contractual arrangements between employees and emplyers. Assuming that the former are prevented from accessing capital markets and are more risk averse than the latter we use the theory of optimal contracts to derive an equilbrium relation between aggregate states of the economy and wage-labor outcomes. This contractual arrangement is then embedded into a standard one-sector, stochastic neoclassical growth model in order to look at the business cycle implications of the contractual hypothesis. The resulting dynamic equilibrium relations are then parameterized and studied by means of standard numerical approximation techniques. The quantitative properties of our model appear to be somewhat encouraging. We have examined different contractual environments and in all circumstances the contracts-based equilibrium performs better than standard ones with regard to the labor-market variables and at least as well with regard to the other aggregate macroeconomic variables. The present paper reports only the simulation results relative to wconsider the most empirically relevant cases. More results are available from the authors.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/papers/1068.pdf
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1068.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Mar 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1068
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014

Phone: 847/491-3527
Fax: 847/491-2530
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  2. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1990. "The Consumption of Stockholders and Non-Stockholders," NBER Working Papers 3402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. R. Glenn Hubbard & Kenneth L. Judd, 1986. "Liquidity Constraints, Fiscal Policy, and Consumption," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 1-60.
  5. Rosen, Sherwin, 1985. "Implicit Contracts: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 1144-75, September.
  6. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-73, April.
  7. Kahn, Charles M. & Green, Jerry, 1983. "Wage-Employment Contracts," Scholarly Articles 3203642, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Jean-Pierre DANTHINE & John B. DONALDSON, 1991. "Risk Sharing in the Business Cycle," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9109, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  9. Rogerson, Richard, 1988. "Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
  10. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  11. Victor Zarnowitz, 1992. "Business Cycles: Theory, History, Indicators, and Forecasting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number zarn92-1.
  12. Robert E. Hall, 1988. "Substitution over Time in Work and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 2789, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1068. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fran Walker)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.