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Keywords:Production (Economic theory) 

Report
Elasticities of substitution in real business cycle models with home production

Recently, there has been considerable interest in modifying the standard real business cycle model to include home production. In this paper, we construct a simple model of home production that demonstrates the connection between the intertemporal elasticity of substitution (IES), and the elasticity of substitution between home and market consumption. Understanding this connection is important because there is much larger body of empirical evidence on the size of the IES than there is on the size of the static home-market substitution elasticity. We use this framework to shed light on the ...
Research Paper , Paper 9733

Report
Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?

In this paper, we document a structural break in the volatility of U.S. GDP growth in the first quarter of 1984 and provide evidence that this break emanates from a reduction in the volatility of durable goods production. Further, the reduction in durables volatility corresponds to a decline in the share of durable goods accounted for by inventories. We find no evidence of increased stability in the nondurables, services or structures sectors of the economy. Our evidence is compatible with a scenario in which changes in inventory management techniques in the durable goods sector have reduced ...
Research Paper , Paper 9735

Report
Financial market evolution and the interest sensitivity of output

Research Paper , Paper 9013

Report
Global stock markets and links in real activity

Research Paper , Paper 9109

Report
What inventory behavior tells us about business cycles

We argue that the behavior of manufacturing inventories provides evidence against models of business cycle fluctuations based on productivity shocks, increasing returns to scale, or favorable externalities, whereas it is consistent with models with short-run diminishing returns. Finished goods inventories move proportionally much less than sales or production over the business cycle, which we show implies procyclical marginal cost and countercyclical price markups. Obvious measures for marginal cost do not show high marginal cost near peaks, as required to rationalize the inventory behavior, ...
Research Paper , Paper 9817

Report
Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?

We document a structural break in the volatility of U.S. GDP growth in the first quarter of 1984, and provide evidence that this break emanates from a reduction in the volatility of durable goods production. We find no evidence of increased stability in the nondurables, services or structures sectors of the economy. In addition, no other G7 country experienced a contemporaneous reduction in output volatility. Finally, we show that the reduction in durables volatility corresponds to a decline in the share of durable goods accounted for by inventories
Staff Reports , Paper 41

Working Paper
Heterogeneous firms, productivity and poverty traps

We present a model of endogenous total factor productivity which generates poverty traps. We obtain multiple steady-state equilibria for an arbitrarily small degree of increasing returns to scale. While the most productive firms operate across all the steady states, in a poverty trap less productive firms operate as well. This results in lower average firm productivity and lower total factor productivity. In our model a growth miracle is accompanied by a shift of employment from small to large firms, consistent with the empirical evidence. We calibrate our model and relate entry costs to the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2005-068

Working Paper
Productivity measurement and monetary policymaking during the 1990s

The acceleration of productivity growth during the latter half of the 1990s was both the defining economic event of the decade and a major topic of debate among Federal Reserve policymakers. A key aspect of the debate was the conflict between incoming aggregate data, which initially suggested little productivity gain, and anecdotal firm-level evidence which hinted at an acceleration. Some FOMC members feared an overheating economy and higher inflation; others, including the Chairman, argued that revolutionary increases in productivity were occurring and the Committee should not prematurely ...
Working Papers , Paper 2005-067

Discussion Paper
Measuring the cyclical behavior of home production: a macroeconomic analysis

Much economic activity takes place within the home. Unfortunately, it is difficult to assess the cyclical properties of home production because the available data are too sporadic. Under the assumption that each observation of historical U.S. data on consumption, investment, and hours worked is consistent with optimal behavior on the part of a representative agent, we construct quarterly data on three variables that would otherwise be unobservable at a quarterly frequency: hours worked in the home sector, hours spent in leisure, and the consumption of goods produced in the home sector. Three ...
Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics , Paper 103

Working Paper
Robust non-parametric quantile estimation of efficiency and productivity change in U.S. commercial banking, 1985-2004

This paper describes a non-parametric, unconditional, hyperbolic quantile estimator that unlike traditional non-parametric frontier estimators is both robust to data outliers and has a root-n convergence rate. We use this estimator to examine changes in the efficiency and productivity of U.S. banks between 1985 and 2004. We find that larger banks experienced larger efficiency and productivity gains than small banks, consistent with the presumption that recent changes in regulation and information technology have favored larger banks.
Working Papers , Paper 2006-041

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