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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. 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.
  2. Ellen R. McGrattan, 1991. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 37, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Gaspar, Jess & L. Judd, Kenneth, 1997. "Solving Large-Scale Rational-Expectations Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 45-75, January.
  4. 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.
  5. Henning Bohn, 1999. "Should the Social Security Trust Fund Hold Equities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 666-697, July.
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  8. Obstfeld, M., 1998. "Risk and Exchange Rate," Papers 193, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  10. Collard, Fabrice & Juillard, Michel, 1999. "Accuracy of stochastic perturbuation methods: the case of asset pricing models," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9922, CEPREMAP.
  11. Dale W. Henderson & Jinill Kim, 1999. "Exact utilities under alternative monetary rules in a simple macro model with optimizing agents," International Finance Discussion Papers 635, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. John Y. Campbell & Luis M. Viceira, 1998. "Who Should Buy Long-Term Bonds?," NBER Working Papers 6801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jinill Kim & Dale W. Henderson, 2002. "Inflation targeting and nominal income growth targeting: when and why are they suboptimal?," International Finance Discussion Papers 719, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  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. Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Henry Kim & Andrew Levin, 2001. "Patience, persistence and welfare costs of incomplete markets in open economies," International Finance Discussion Papers 696, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. John B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig, 1990. "Solving Nonlinear Stochastic Growth Models: A Comparison of Alternative Solution Methods," NBER Working Papers 3117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 8071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  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. 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.
  22. Harold L. Cole & Maurice Obstfeld, 1989. "Commodity Trade and International Risk Sharing: How Much Do Financial Markets Matter?," NBER Working Papers 3027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Eric van Wincoop, 1998. "How big are potential welfare gains from international risksharing?," Staff Reports 37, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  24. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1987. "International real business cycles," Working Papers 426, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  25. Otrok, Christopher, 2001. "On measuring the welfare cost of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-92, February.
  26. 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.
  27. Wouter J. den Haan & Albert Marcet, 1993. "Accuracy in simulations," Economics Working Papers 42, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  28. 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.
  29. Benigno, Gianluca & Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules and the Exchange Rate," CEPR Discussion Papers 2807, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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