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Is lumpy investment really irrelevant for the business cycle?

  • Tommy Sveen
  • Lutz Weinke

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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 869.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:869
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. 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.
  2. 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, 03.
  3. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Departmental Working Papers 200112, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Miguel Casares & Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "An Optimizing IS-LM Framework with Endogenous Investment," NBER Working Papers 7908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. 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, 09.
  7. 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.
  8. Marcelo Veracierto, 1998. "Plant level irreversible investment and equilibrium business cycles," Working Paper Series WP-98-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Cabalero, R.J., 1997. "Aggregaete Investment," Working papers 97-20, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  11. 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.
  12. Julia K. Thomas, 2002. "Is lumpy investment relevant for the business cycle?," Staff Report 302, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. 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.
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