The Welfare Costs of Business Cycles Unveiled: Measuring the Extent of Stabilization Policies
Abstract: How can we measure the welfare benefit of ongoing stabilization? We develop a methodology to calculate the welfare cost of business cycles taking into account that observed consumption is partially smoothed. We propose a decomposition that disentangles consumption in a mix of laissez-faire (absent policies) and riskless components. With a novel identification strategy, we estimate the span of stabilization power. Our results show that the welfare cost of total fluctuations is 5.81 percent of lifetime consumption, in which 80 percent is smoothed by the status quo, yielding a residual 1.05 percent to be tackled by policy.
File format is text/html
Description: Full Text
Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Part of Series: Working Papers
Publication Date: 2021-07-30