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Jel Classification:E22 

Report
Why has the cyclicality of productivity changed?: what does it mean?

Historically, U.S. labor productivity (output per hour) and total factor productivity (TFP) rose in booms and fell in recessions. Different models of business cycles explain this procyclicality differently. Traditional Keynesian models relied on "factor hoarding," that is, variations in how intensively labor and capital were utilized over the business cycle. Real business cycle (RBC) models instead posit that procyclical technology shocks drive the business cycle. Since the mid-1980s, however, the procyclicality of productivity has waned. TFP has been roughly acyclical with respect to ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 15-6

Report
What inventory behavior tells us about business cycles

Manufacturers' finished goods inventories are less cyclical than shipments. This requires marginal cost to be more procyclical than is conventionally measured. In this paper, alternative marginal cost measures for six manufacturing industries are constructed. These measures, which attribute high-frequency productivity shocks to procyclical work effort, are more successful in accounting for inventory behavior. Evidence is also provided that the short-run slope of marginal cost arising from convexity of the production function is close to zero for five of the six industries. The paper concludes ...
Staff Reports , Paper 92

Report
Disasters Everywhere: The Costs of Business Cycles Reconsidered

Business cycles are costlier and stabilization policies more beneficial than widely thought. This paper shows that all business cycles are asymmetric and resemble mini “disasters.” By this we mean that growth is pervasively fat-tailed and non-Gaussian. Using long-run historical data, we show empirically that this is true for all advanced economies since 1870. Focusing on the peacetime sample, we develop a tractable local projection framework to estimate consumption growth paths for normal and financial-crisis recessions. Using random coefficient local projections we get an easy and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 925

Working Paper
Reconstructing the great recession

This paper evaluates the role of the construction sector in accounting for the performance of the U.S. economy before, during and after the Great Recession. We use input-output analysis to evaluate its linkages with the rest of the economy and measure the transmission of its demand shocks to the overall economy. Such effects are quantified by means of a dynamic multi-sector model parameterized to reproduce the boom-bust dynamics of employment in construction during 2000-13. The model suggests that the interlinkages account for a large share of the actual changes in aggregate employment and ...
Working Papers , Paper 2013-006

Working Paper
Mortgage Debt, Consumption, and Illiquid Housing Markets in the Great Recession

Using a model with housing search, endogenous credit constraints, and mortgage default, this paper accounts for the housing crash from 2006 to 2011 and its implications for aggregate and cross-sectional consumption during the Great Recession. Left tail shocks to labor market uncertainty and tighter down payment requirements emerge as the key drivers. An endogenous decline in housing liquidity amplifies the recession by increasing foreclosures, contracting credit, and depressing consumption. Balance sheets act as a transmission mechanism from housing to consumption that depends on gross ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-30

Working Paper
Capital goods trade and economic development

We argue that international trade in capital goods has quantitatively important effects on economic development through two channels: (i) capital formation and (ii) aggregate TFP. We embed a multi country, multi sector Ricardian model of trade into a neoclassical growth model. Barriers to trade result in a misallocation of factors both within and across countries. Our model matches several trade and development facts within a unified framework. It is consistent with the world distribution of capital goods production, cross-country differences in investment rate and price of final goods, and ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-12

Working Paper
Interest Rate Dynamics, Variable-Rate Loan Contracts, and the Business Cycle

The interest rate at which US firms borrow funds has two features: (i) it moves in a countercyclical fashion and (ii) it is an inverted leading indicator of real economic activity: low interest rates forecast booms in GDP, consumption, investment, and employment. We show that a Kiyotaki-Moore model accounts for both properties when business-cycle movements are driven, in a significant way, by animal spirit shocks to credit-financed investment demand. The credit-based nature of such self-fulfilling equilibria is shown to be essential: the dynamic correlation between current loanable funds rate ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-32

Working Paper
The great housing boom of China

China?s housing prices have been growing nearly twice as fast as national income over the past decade, despite a high vacancy rate and a high rate of return to capital. This paper interprets China?s housing boom as a rational bubble emerging naturally from its economic transition. The bubble arises because high capital returns driven by resource reallocation are not sustainable in the long run. Rational expectations of a strong future demand for alternative stores of value can thus induce currently productive agents to speculate in the housing market. Our model can quantitatively account for ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-22

Working Paper
A Search-Based Neoclassical Model of Capital Reallocation

As a form of investment, the importance of capital reallocation between firms has been increasing over time, with the purchase of used capital accounting for 25% to 40% of firms total investment nowadays. Cross- firm reallocation of used capital also exhibits intriguing business-cycle properties, such as (i) the illiquidity of used capital is countercyclical (or the quantity of used capital reallocation across rms is procyclical), (ii) the prices of used capital are procyclical and more so than those of new capital goods, and (iii) the dispersion of firms' TFP or MPK (or the bene t of capital ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-17

Working Paper
Financing Ventures

The relationship between venture capital and growth is examined using an endogenous growth model incorporating dynamic contracts between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. At each stage of financing, venture capitalists evaluate the viability of startups. If viable, venture capitalists provide funding for the next stage. The success of a project depends on the amount of funding. The model is confronted with stylized facts about venture capital; viz., statistics by funding round concerning the success rates, failure rates, investment rates, equity shares, and IPO values. Raising capital ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-35

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