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Animal Spirits, Lumpy Investment, and Endogenous Business Cycles

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  • Giovanni Dosi
  • Giorgio Fagiolo
  • Andrea Roventini

Abstract

In this paper, we present an evolutionary model of industry dynamics yielding en- dogenous business cycles with 'Keynesian' features. The model describes an economy composed of firms and consumers/workers. Firms belong to two industries. The first one performs R&D and produces heterogeneous machine tools. Firms in the second industry invest in new machines and produce a homogenous consumption good. Consumers sell their labor and fully consume their income. In line with the empirical literature on investment patterns, we assume that the investment decisions by firms are lumpy and constrained by their financial structures. Moreover, drawing from behavioral theories of the firm, we assume boundedly rational expectation formation. Simulation results show that the model is able to deliver self-sustaining patterns of growth characterized by the presence of endogenous business cycles. The model can also replicate the most important stylized facts concerning micro- and macro-economic dynamics. Indeed, we find that investment is more volatile than GDP; consumption is less volatile than GDP; investment, consumption and change in stocks are procyclical and coincident variables; employment is procyclical; unemployment rate is countercyclical; firm size distributions are skewed but depart from log-normality; firm growth distributions are tent-shaped.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2005. "Animal Spirits, Lumpy Investment, and Endogenous Business Cycles," LEM Papers Series 2005/04, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2005/04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Domenico Delli Gatti & Mauro Gallegati, 2004. "Weird Ties? : Growth, Cycles and Firms Dynamics in an Agent Based-Model with Financial Market Imperfections," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 288, Society for Computational Economics.
    2. Orlando Gomes, 2006. "Local Bifurcations and Global Dynamics in a Solow-type Endogenous Business Cycles Model," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 7(1), pages 91-127, May.
    3. Orlando Gomes, 2006. "Endogenous Business Cycles in the Ramsey Growth Model," Zagreb International Review of Economics and Business, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, vol. 9(2), pages 13-36, November.
    4. Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2008. "The microfoundations of business cycles: an evolutionary, multi-agent model," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 413-432, August.
    5. Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2006. "An Evolutionary Model of Endogenous Business Cycles," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 3-34, February.

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    Keywords

    Evolutionary Dynamics; Agent-Based Computational Economics; Animal Spirits; Lumpy Investment; Output Fluctuations; Endogenous Business Cycles.;

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