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How different is the cyclical behavior of home production across countries?

  • William Blankenau and M. Ayhan Kose

Household production plays an important role in aggregate economic activity. It constitutes between 20 and 50 percent of the value of gross national product in several industrialized countries. We study cross-country differences and similarities in the dynamic behavior of production activities at home. Specifically, we examine the stylized business cycle features of household production in the G7 countries. We address the following questions. First, what are the time series properties of hours worked in the home sector, hours spent in leisure, and the consumption of home-produced goods? Second, what are the cross-country comovement properties of fluctuations in household production? Third, are existing stochastic dynamic business cycle models able to replicate the business cycle features of household production data implied by our methodology? Using a stochastic dynamic business cycle model which incorporates a household production sector, we generate quarterly data on hours worked in the home sector, hours spent in leisure, and the consumption of home-produced goods. Our methodology closely follows that of Ingram, Kocherlakota, and Savin (1997, Journal of Monetary Economics). In particular, we use the model?s Euler equations and the observable data on the model?s endogenous variables regarding the market production and hours to recover the data series on household production and leisure. We find that leisure is countercylical while nonmarket hours are acyclical in all countries. Cross-country correlations of leisure and non-market production are low, and in most cases, are much smaller than those of output. We compare the business cycle features of home production in existing closed and open economy business cycle models with those of our data. Moment implications of existing business cycle models heavily rely on the features of the productivity shocks in the non-market sector. Our results suggest that these models are able to capture some of the features of business cycles in household production.

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 with number 117.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf1:117
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  1. Giuseppe Bertola & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Institutions and Labor Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 5828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi, 1991. "The Allocation of Capital and Time over the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1188-214, December.
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  8. Juster, F. Thomas & Stafford, Frank P., 1990. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioural Models, and Problems of Measurement," Working Paper Series 258, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. M. Ayhan Kose & Christopher Otrok & Charles H. Whiteman, 2003. "International Business Cycles: World, Region, and Country-Specific Factors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1216-1239, September.
  10. Ingram, Beth Fisher & Kocherlakota, Narayana R. & Savin, N. E., 1994. "Explaining business cycles: A multiple-shock approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 415-428, December.
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  12. Christian Zimmermann, 1995. "International Trade over the Business Cycle: Stylized Facts and Remaining Puzzles," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 37, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal, revised Aug 1997.
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  17. Baxter, Marianne, 1996. "Are Consumer Durables Important for Business Cycles?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 147-55, February.
  18. Blankenau, William & Ayhan Kose, M. & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "Can world real interest rates explain business cycles in a small open economy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 867-889, June.
  19. Eisner, Robert, 1988. "Extended Accounts for National Income and Product," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1611-84, December.
  20. Ellen McGrattan & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1995. "An equilibrium model of the business cycle with household production and fiscal policy," Staff Report 191, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  21. Ingram, Beth F. & Kocherlakota, Narayana R. & Savin, N. E., 1997. "Using theory for measurement: An analysis of the cyclical behavior of home production," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 435-456, December.
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  25. Christodoulakis, Nicos & Dimelis, Sophia P & Kollintzas, Tryphon, 1995. "Comparisons of Business Cycles in the EC: Idiosyncracies and Regularities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 1-27, February.
  26. Jeffrey M. Wrase, 2001. "The interplay between home production and business activity," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 23-29.
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