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Is lumpy investment really irrelevant for the business cycle?

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  • Tommy Sveen
  • Lutz Weinke

Abstract

New-Keynesian (NK) models can only account for the dynamic effects of monetary policy shocks if it is assumed that aggregate capital accumulation is much smoother than it would be the case under frictionless firm-level investment, as discussed in Woodford (2003, Ch. 5). We find that lumpy investment, when combined with price stickiness and market power of firms, can rationalize this assumption. Our main result is in stark contrast with the conclusions obtained by Thomas (2002) in the context of a real business cycle (RBC) model. We use our model to explain the economic mechanism behind this difference in the predictions of RBC and NK theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommy Sveen & Lutz Weinke, 2005. "Is lumpy investment really irrelevant for the business cycle?," Economics Working Papers 869, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:869
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Casares, Miguel & McCallum, Bennett T., 2006. "An optimizing IS-LM framework with endogenous investment," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 621-644, December.
    2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel, 1999. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 783-826, July.
    3. Julia K. Thomas, 2002. "Is Lumpy Investment Relevant for the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 508-534, June.
    4. Marcelo L. Veracierto, 2002. "Plant-Level Irreversible Investment and Equilibrium Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 181-197, March.
    5. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2008. "Idiosyncratic Shocks and the Role of Nonconvexities in Plant and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(2), pages 395-436, March.
    6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    7. Tommy Sveen & Lutz Weinke, 2004. "Pitfalls in the modeling of forward-looking price setting and investment decisions," Economics Working Papers 773, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    8. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    9. Sbordone, Argia M., 2002. "Prices and unit labor costs: a new test of price stickiness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 265-292, March.
    10. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1999. "Aggregate investment," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 813-862 Elsevier.
    11. Mark E. Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1998. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 409-429, April.
    12. Sveen, Tommy & Weinke, Lutz, 2005. "New perspectives on capital, sticky prices, and the Taylor principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 21-39, July.
    13. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fang Yao, 2008. "Lumpy Labor Adjustment as a Propagation Mechanism of Business Cycles," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-056, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    2. Sveen, Tommy & Weinke, Lutz, 2007. "Lumpy investment, sticky prices, and the monetary transmission mechanism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 23-36, September.
    3. Tommy Sveen & Lutz Weinke, 2009. "Firm-Specific Capital and Welfare," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 5(2), pages 147-179, June.
    4. Sam Cole, 2010. "The regional portfolio of disruptions, protection, and disasters," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 44(2), pages 251-272, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lumpy Investment; Sticky Prices;

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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