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Spurious Welfare Reversals in International Business Cycle Models

  • Jinill Kim and Sunghyun Henry Kim

Papers on international business cycles have documented spurious welfare reversals: incomplete markets produce a higher level of welfare than the complete market. This paper first demonstrates how conventional linearization, as used in King, Plosser, and Rebelo (1988), can generate approximation errors that can result in welfare reversals. Using a two-country production economy, we argue that spurious welfare reversals are not only possible but also plausible under reasonable values for model parameters including labor supply elasticity. As a constructive alternative, this paper then proposes an approximation method that modifies the conventional linearization by a bias correction---the linear approximation around a `stochastic' steady state. We show that this method can be easily implemented and very well approximates the exact solution. The accuracy of the proposed method is by far better than that of the conventional linearization method and as good as that of a perturbation method involving a second-order expansion.

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 with number 3.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2001
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf1:3
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  1. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J & Kydland, Finn E, 1992. "International Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 745-75, August.
  2. Devereux, Michael B. & Saito, Makoto, 1997. "Growth and risk-sharing with incomplete international assets markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 453-481, May.
  3. Obstfeld, M., 1998. "Risk and Exchange Rate," Papers 193, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  4. John Y. CAMPBELL & Luis VICEIRA, 1998. "Who Should Buy Long-Term Bonds?," FAME Research Paper Series rp5, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
  5. Jinill Kim & Dale Henderson, 2002. "Inflation Targeting and Nominal Income Growth Targeting: When and Why Are They Suboptimal?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 59, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Wouter J. den Haan & Albert Marcet, 1993. "Accuracy in simulations," Economics Working Papers 42, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Dale Henderson & Jinill Kim, 1999. "Exact Utilities under Alternative Monetary Rules in a Simple Macro Model with Optimizing Agents," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 507-535, November.
  8. Mark Bils & Yongsung Chang, 1999. "Wages and the Allocation of Hours and Effort," NBER Working Papers 7309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gaspar, Jess & L. Judd, Kenneth, 1997. "Solving Large-Scale Rational-Expectations Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 45-75, January.
  10. Jinill Kim, Sunghyun Kim, and Andrew Levin, 2001. "Patience, Persistence, and Welfare Costs of Incomplete Markets in Open Economies," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 7, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Cole, Harold L. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Commodity trade and international risk sharing : How much do financial markets matter?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 3-24, August.
  12. Taylor, John B & Uhlig, Harald, 1990. "Solving Nonlinear Stochastic Growth Models: A Comparison of Alternative Solution Methods," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-17, January.
  13. Eric van Wincoop, 1998. "How big are potential welfare gains from international risksharing?," Staff Reports 37, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  14. Tesar, Linda L., 1995. "Evaluating the gains from international risksharing," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 95-143, June.
  15. repec:fth:calaec:4-98 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Woodford Michael, 2002. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-53, February.
  17. Chris Otrok, 1999. "On Measuring the Welfare Cost of Business Cycles," Virginia Economics Online Papers 318, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  18. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "A small, structural, quarterly model for monetary policy evaluation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 83-108, December.
  19. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  20. Lewis, Karen K., 2000. "Why do stocks and consumption imply such different gains from international risk sharing?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-35, October.
  21. Henning Bohn, 1999. "Online Appendix to Should the Social Security Trust Fund hold Equities? An Intergenerational Welfare Analysis," Technical Appendices bohn99, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  22. Collard, Fabrice & Juillard, Michel, 1999. "Accuracy of stochastic perturbuation methods: the case of asset pricing models," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9922, CEPREMAP.
  23. Cho, Jang-Ok & Cooley, Thomas F & Phaneuf, Louis, 1997. "The Welfare Cost of Nominal Wage Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 465-84, July.
  24. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  25. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1995. "The Terms of Trade, the Real Exchange Rate, and Economic Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(1), pages 101-37, February.
  26. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  27. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 573-601, June.
  28. Benigno, Gianluca & Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules and the Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 2807, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. repec:cup:macdyn:v:1:y:1997:i:1:p:45-75 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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