nep-dge New Economics Papers
on Dynamic General Equilibrium
Issue of 2008‒04‒12
twenty-two papers chosen by
Christian Zimmermann
University of Connecticut

  1. Investment shocks and business cycles By Alejandro Justiniano; Giorgio E. Primiceri; Andrea Tambalotti
  2. Divergence in Labor Market Institutions and International Business Cycles By Raquel Fonseca; Lise Patureau; Thepthida Sopraseuth
  3. Forming priors for DSGE models (and how it affects the assessment of nominal rigidities) By Marco Del Negro; Frank Schorfheide
  4. Input and output inventory dynamics By Yi Wen
  5. Investment Shocks and Business Cycles By Justiniano, Alejandro; Primiceri, Giorgio E.; Tambalotti, Andrea
  6. International Capital Flows By Tille, Cédric; van Wincoop, Eric
  7. Monetary policy analysis with potentially misspecified models By Marco Del Negro; Frank Schorfheide
  8. Technology shocks, employment, and labor market frictions By Federico S. Mandelman; Francesco Zanetti
  9. The Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks: Theory and Empirical Evidence By Mertens, Karel; Ravn, Morten O.
  10. The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis By Doepke, Matthias; Hazan, Moshe; Maoz, Yishay D
  11. Taxation, Aggregates and the Household By Guner, Nezih; Kaygusuz, Remzi; Ventura, Gustavo
  12. Forecasting the South African Economy: A DSGE-VAR Approach By Liu, G.; Gupta, R.; Schaling, E.
  13. The Effects of Technology Shocks on Hours and Output: A Robustness Analysis By Canova, Fabio; López-Salido, J David; Michelacci, Claudio
  14. The Role of Portfolio Constraints in the International Propagation of Shocks By Pavlova, Anna; Rigobon, Roberto
  15. Driving forces of the Canadian economy: an accounting exercise By Simona E. Cociuba; Alexander Ueberfeldt
  16. On the application of automatic differentiation to the likelihood function for dynamic general equilibrium models By Houtan Bastani; Luca Guerrieri
  17. Productivity, energy prices, and the Great Moderation: a new link By Rajeev Dhawan; Karsten Jeske; Pedro Silos
  18. Can Rare Events Explain the Equity Premium Puzzle? By Anisha Ghosh; Christian Julliard
  19. Oil Price Movements and the Global Economy: A Model-Based Assessment By Elekdag, Selim; Lalonde, Rene; Laxton, Doug; Muir, Dirk; Pesenti, Paolo
  20. Asset Pricing Tests with Long Run Risks in Consumption Growth By Anisha Ghosh; George Constantinides
  21. Optimal Monetary Policy rules for the Euro area in a DSGE framework By Pelin Ilbas
  22. Incomplete Cost Pass-Through Under Deep Habits By Ravn, Morten O.; Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie; Uribe, Martín

  1. By: Alejandro Justiniano; Giorgio E. Primiceri; Andrea Tambalotti
    Abstract: Shocks to the marginal efficiency of investment are the most important drivers of business cycle fluctuations in U.S. output and hours. Moreover, like a textbook demand shock, these disturbances drive prices higher in expansions. We reach these conclusions by estimating a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with several shocks and frictions. We also find that neutral technology shocks are not negligible, but their share in the variance of output is only around 25 percent and even lower for hours. Labor supply shocks explain a large fraction of the variation of hours at very low frequencies, but not over the business cycle. Finally, we show that imperfect competition and, to a lesser extent, technological frictions are the key to the transmission of investment shocks in the model.
    Keywords: Business cycles ; Capital investments ; Stochastic analysis ; Equilibrium (Economics) ; Labor supply ; Competition
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Raquel Fonseca (RAND, 1776 Main Street P.O. Box 2138 Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138, USA); Lise Patureau (THEMA Université de Cergy-Pontoise, 33, boulevard du Port 95011 Cergy-Pontoise Cedex, France); Thepthida Sopraseuth (EPEE Université d’Evry and PSE, 4 Bd F. Mitterand, 91025 Evry Cedex, France)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the sources of business cycle comovement within the New Open Economy Macroeconomy framework. It sheds new light on the business cycle comovement issue by examining the role of cross-country divergence in labor market institutions. We first document stylized facts supporting that heterogeneous labor market institutions are associated with lower cross-country GDP correlations among OECD countries. We then investigate this fact within a two-country dynamic general equilibrium model with frictions on the good and labor markets. On the good-market side, we model monopolistic competition and nominal price rigidity. Labor market frictions are introduced through a matching function à la Mortensen and Pissarides (1999). Our conclusions disclose that heterogenous labor market institutions amplify the crosscountry GDP differential in response to aggregate shocks. In quantitative terms, they contribute to reduce cross-country output correlation, when the model is subject to real and/or monetary shocks. Our overall results show that taking into account labor market heterogeneity improves our understanding of the quantity puzzle.
    Keywords: International business cycle, Search, Labor market institutions, Wage bargaining
    JEL: E24 E32 F41
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Marco Del Negro; Frank Schorfheide
    Abstract: This paper discusses prior elicitation for the parameters of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models and provides a method for constructing prior distributions for a subset of these parameters from beliefs about the moments of the endogenous variables. The empirical application studies the role of price and wage rigidities in a New Keynesian DSGE model and finds that standard macro time series cannot discriminate among theories that differ in the quantitative importance of nominal frictions.
    Keywords: Time-series analysis ; Business cycles ; Stochastic analysis ; Keynesian economics ; Equilibrium (Economics)
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Yi Wen
    Abstract: This paper develops an analytically tractable general equilibrium model of inventory dynamics. Inventories are introduced into a standard RBC model through a precautionary stockout-avoidance motive. Under persistent aggregate demand shocks, the model is broadly consistent with the U.S. business cycle and key features of inventory behavior, including (i) a large inventory stock-to-sales ratio and a small inventory investment-to-sales ratio in the long run, (ii) excess volatility of production relative to sales, (iii) procyclical inventory investment but countercyclical stock-to-sales ratio over the business cycle, and (iv) more volatile input inventories than output inventories. Similar results can also be obtained under persistent aggregate supply shocks.
    Keywords: Inventories ; Business cycles
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Justiniano, Alejandro; Primiceri, Giorgio E.; Tambalotti, Andrea
    Abstract: Shocks to the marginal efficiency of investment are the most important drivers of business cycle fluctuations in US output and hours. Moreover, these disturbances drive prices higher in expansions, like a textbook demand shock. We reach these conclusions by estimating a DSGE model with several shocks and frictions. We also find that neutral technology shocks are not negligible, but their share in the variance of output is only around 25 percent, and even lower for hours. Labour supply shocks explain a large fraction of the variation of hours at very low frequencies, but not over the business cycle. Finally, we show that imperfect competition and, to a lesser extent, technological frictions are the key to the transmission of investment shocks in the model.
    Keywords: Bayesian; DSGE model; endogenous markups; imperfect competition
    JEL: C11 E30
    Date: 2008–03
  6. By: Tille, Cédric; van Wincoop, Eric
    Abstract: The surge in international asset trade since the early 1990s has lead to renewed interest in models with international portfolio choice, an aspect that was largely cast aside when the ad-hoc portfolio balance models of the 1970s were replaced by models of optimizing agents. We develop the implications of portfolio choice for both gross and net international capital flows in the context of a simple two-country dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. Our focus is on the time-variation in portfolio allocation following shocks, and the resulting capital flows. We show how endogenous time-variation in expected returns and risk, which are the key determinants of portfolio choice, affect capital flows in often subtle ways. The model is shown to be consistent with a broad range of empirical evidence. An additional contribution of the paper is to overcome the technical difficulty of solving DSGE models with portfolio choice by developing a broadly applicable solution method
    Keywords: home bias; international capital flows; portfolio allocation
    JEL: F32 F36 F41
    Date: 2008–02
  7. By: Marco Del Negro; Frank Schorfheide
    Abstract: Policy analysis with potentially misspecified dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models faces two challenges: estimation of parameters that are relevant for policy trade-offs and treatment of estimated deviations from the cross-equation restrictions. This paper develops and explores policy analysis approaches that are based on either the generalized shock structure for the DSGE model or the explicit modeling of deviations from cross-equation restrictions. Using post-1982 U.S. data, we first quantify the degree of misspecification in a state-of-the art DSGE model and then document the performance of different interest rate feedback rules. We find that many of the policy prescriptions derived from the benchmark DSGE model are robust to the various treatments of misspecifications considered in this paper, but that quantitatively the cost of deviating from such prescriptions varies substantially.
    Keywords: Time-series analysis ; Monetary policy ; Stochastic analysis ; Econometric models
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Federico S. Mandelman; Francesco Zanetti
    Abstract: Recent empirical evidence suggests that a positive technology shock leads to a decline in labor inputs. However, the standard real business cycle model fails to account for this empirical regularity. Can the presence of labor market frictions address this problem without otherwise altering the functioning of the model? We develop and estimate a real business cycle model using Bayesian techniques that allows but does not require labor market frictions to generate a negative response of employment to a technology shock. The results of the estimation support the hypothesis that labor market frictions are responsible for the negative response of employment.
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Mertens, Karel; Ravn, Morten O.
    Abstract: We provide empirical evidence on the effects of tax liability changes in the United States. We make a distinction between "surprise" and "anticipated" tax shocks. Surprise tax cuts give rise to a large boom in the economy. Anticipated tax liability tax cuts are instead associated with a contraction in output, investment and hours worked prior to their implementation. After their implementation, anticipated tax liability cuts lead to an economic expansion. We build a DSGE model with changes in tax rates that may be anticipated or not, estimate key parameters using a simulation estimator and show that it can account for the main features of the data. We argue that tax shocks are empirically important for U.S. business cycles and that the Reagan tax cut, which was largely anticipated, was a main factor behind the early 1980’s recession.
    Keywords: anticipation effects; fiscal policy; structural estimation; tax liabilities
    JEL: E20 E32 E62 H30
    Date: 2008–02
  10. By: Doepke, Matthias; Hazan, Moshe; Maoz, Yishay D
    Abstract: We argue that one major cause of the U.S. postwar baby boom was the increased demand for female labour during World War II. We develop a quantitative dynamic general equilibrium model with endogenous fertility and female labour-force participation decisions. We use the model to assess the long-term implications of a one-time demand shock for female labour, such as the one experienced by American women during wartime mobilization. For the war generation, the shock leads to a persistent increase in female labour supply due to the accumulation of work experience. In contrast, younger women who turn adult after the war face increased labour-market competition, which impels them to exit the labour market and start having children earlier. In our calibrated model, this general-equilibrium effect generates a substantial baby boom followed by a baby bust, as well as patterns for age-specific labour-force participation and fertility rates that are consistent with U.S data.
    Keywords: baby boom; female labour-force participation; fertility; World War II
    JEL: D58 E24 J13 J20
    Date: 2008–01
  11. By: Guner, Nezih; Kaygusuz, Remzi; Ventura, Gustavo
    Abstract: We evaluate reforms to the U.S. tax system in a dynamic setup with heterogeneous married and single households, and with an operative extensive margin in labour supply. We restrict our model with observations on gender and skill premia, labour force participation of married females across skill groups, and the structure of marital sorting. We study four revenue-neutral tax reforms: a proportional consumption tax, a proportional income tax, a progressive consumption tax, and a reform in which married individuals file taxes separately. Our findings indicate that tax reforms are accompanied by large and differential effects on labour supply: while hours per-worker display small increases, total hours and female labour force participation increase substantially. Married females account for more than 50% of the changes in hours associated to reforms, and their importance increases sharply for values of the intertemporal labour supply elasticity on the low side of empirical estimates. Tax reforms in a standard version of the model result in output gains that are up to 15% lower than in our benchmark economy.
    Keywords: labour force participation; taxation; two-earner households
    JEL: E62 H31 J12 J22
    Date: 2008–02
  12. By: Liu, G.; Gupta, R.; Schaling, E. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Journal of Economic Literature Classification: E17, E27, E32, E37, E47
    Keywords: DSGE Model;VAR and BVAR Model;Forecast Accuracy;DSGE Forecasts;VAR Forecasts;BVAR Forecasts
    Date: 2008
  13. By: Canova, Fabio; López-Salido, J David; Michelacci, Claudio
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of neutral and investment-specific technology shocks on hours and output. Long cycles in hours are captured in a variety of ways. Hours robustly fall in response to neutral shocks and robustly increase in response to investment specific shocks. The percentage of the variance of hours (output) explained by neutral shocks is small (large); the opposite is true for investment specific shocks. `News shocks' that generically change expectations about future productivity, are uncorrelated with the estimated technology shocks.
    Keywords: Long cycles; News shocks; Structural VARs; Technology disturbances
    JEL: E00 J60 O33
    Date: 2008–02
  14. By: Pavlova, Anna; Rigobon, Roberto
    Abstract: We study the comovement among stock prices and among exchange rates in a three-good three-country Centre-Periphery dynamic equilibrium model in which the Centre’s agents face portfolio constraints. We characterize equilibrium in closed form for a broad class of portfolio constraints, solving for stock prices, terms of trade, and portfolio holdings. We show that portfolio constraints generate wealth transfers between the Periphery countries and the Centre, which increase the comovement of the stock prices across the Periphery. We associate this excess comovement caused by portfolio constraints with the phenomenon known as contagion. The model generates predictions consistent with other important empirical results such as amplification and flight-to-quality effects.
    Keywords: asset pricing; contagion; International finance; portfolio constraints; terms of trade; wealth transfer
    JEL: F31 F36 G12 G15
    Date: 2008–01
  15. By: Simona E. Cociuba; Alexander Ueberfeldt
    Abstract: This paper analyses the Canadian economy for the post 1960 period. It uses an accounting procedure developed in Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan (2006). The procedure identifies accounting factors that help align the predictions of the neoclassical growth model with macroeconomic variables observed in the data. The paper finds that total factor productivity and the consumption-leisure trade-off - the productivity and labor factors - are key to understanding the changes in output, labor supply and labor productivity observed in the Canadian economy. The paper performs a decomposition of the labor factor for Canada and the United States. It finds that the decline in the gender wage gap is a major driving force of the decrease in the labor market distortions. Moreover, the milder reduction in the labor market distortions observed in Canada, compared to the US, is due to a relative increase in effective labor taxes in Canada.
    Keywords: Economic conditions - Canada ; Productivity - Canada ; Labor productivity ; Labor supply
    Date: 2008
  16. By: Houtan Bastani; Luca Guerrieri
    Abstract: A key application of automatic differentiation (AD) is to facilitate numerical optimization problems. Such problems are at the core of many estimation techniques, including maximum likelihood. As one of the first applications of AD in the field of economics, we used Tapenade to construct derivatives for the likelihood function of any linear or linearized general equilibrium model solved under the assumption of rational expectations. We view our main contribution as providing an important check on finite-difference (FD) numerical derivatives. We also construct Monte Carlo experiments to compare maximum-likelihood estimates obtained with and without the aid of automatic derivatives. We find that the convergence rate of our optimization algorithm can increase substantially when we use AD derivatives.
    Keywords: Econometric models ; Equilibrium (Economics)
    Date: 2008
  17. By: Rajeev Dhawan; Karsten Jeske; Pedro Silos
    Abstract: We study how total factor productivity (TFP), energy prices, and the Great Moderation are linked. First we estimate a joint stochastic process for the energy price and TFP and establish that until the second quarter of 1982, energy prices negatively affected productivity. This spillover has since disappeared. Second, we show that within the framework of a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model, the disappearance of this energy-productivity spillover generates the significantly lower volatility of output and its components. Specifically, the change in the joint stochastic process accounts for close to 70 percent of the moderation in output volatility.
    Date: 2008
  18. By: Anisha Ghosh; Christian Julliard
    Abstract: Probably not. First, allowing the probabilities attached to the states of the economy to differ from their sample frequencies, the Consumption-CAPM is still rejected by the data and requires a very high level of Relative Risk Aversion (RRA) in order to rationalize the stock market risk premium. This result holds for a variety of data sources and samples - including ones starting as far back as 1890. Second, we elicit the likelihood of observing an Equity Premium Puzzle (EPP) if the data were generated by the rare events probability distribution needed to rationalize the puzzle with a low level of RRA. We find that the historically observed EPP would be very unlikely to arise. Third, we find that the rare events explanation of the EPP significantly worsens the ability of the Consumption-CAPM to explain the cross-section of asset returns. This is due to the fact that, by assigning higher probabilities to bad - economy wide - states in which consumption growth is low and all the assets in the cross-section tend to yield low returns, the rare events hypothesis reduces the cross-sectional dis-persion of consumption risk relative to the cross-sectional variation of average returns.
    Date: 2008–04
  19. By: Elekdag, Selim; Lalonde, Rene; Laxton, Doug; Muir, Dirk; Pesenti, Paolo
    Abstract: We develop a five-region version (Canada, a group of oil exporting countries, the United States, emerging Asia and Japan plus the euro area) of the Global Economy Model (GEM) encompassing production and trade of crude oil, and use it to study the international transmission mechanism of shocks that drive oil prices. In the presence of real adjustment costs that reduce the short- and medium-term responses of oil supply and demand, our simulations can account for large endogenous variations of oil prices with large effects on the terms of trade of oil-exporting versus oil-importing countries (in particular, emerging Asia), and result in significant wealth transfers between regions. This is especially true when we consider a sustained increase in productivity growth or a shift in production technology towards more capital- (and hence oil-) intensive goods in regions such as emerging Asia. In addition, we study the implications of higher taxes on gasoline that are used to reduce taxes on labour income, showing that such a policy could increase world productive capacity while being consistent with a reduction in oil consumption.
    Keywords: DSGE models; Oil prices; World economy
    JEL: E66 F32 F47
    Date: 2008–02
  20. By: Anisha Ghosh; George Constantinides
    Abstract: The Bansal and Yaron (2004) model of long run risks (LLR) in aggregate consumption and dividend growth and its extension that captures potential co-integration of the consumption and dividend levels, are tested on a cross-section of asset classes and rejected using annual data over the period 1930-2006 and using both annual and quarterly data over the post-war period. The reversalof earlier empirical conclusions is partly due to the increase in the power of the tests resulting from two observations under the null. First, the latent state variables and, therefore, the pricing kernel are known affine functions of observablessuch as the interest rate and the market-wide price-dividend ratio. Second, the parameters of the time-series processes of consumption and dividend growth, theLLR variable, and its conditional variance impose constraints on the parameters of the pricing kernel. The value of the persistence parameter of the LRR variablethat best fits the data implies that its half-life is shorter than that of the business cycle.
    Date: 2008–04
  21. By: Pelin Ilbas
    Abstract: This paper evaluates optimal monetary policy rules within the context of a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model estimated for the Euro Area. Under assumption of an ad hoc loss function for the central bank, we compute the unconditional losses both under discretion and commitment. We compare the performance of unrestricted optimal rules to the performance of optimal simple rules. The results indicate that there are considerable gains from commitment over discretion, probably due to the stabilization bias present under discretion. The lagged variant of the Taylor type of rule that allows for interest rate inertia does relatively well in approaching the performance of the unrestricted optimal rule derived under commitment. On the other hand, simple rules expressed in terms of forecasts to next period’s inflation rate seem to perform relatively worse.
    Keywords: optimal rules, commitment, discretion, stabilization bias
    JEL: E52 E58
    Date: 2008–03
  22. By: Ravn, Morten O.; Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie; Uribe, Martín
    Abstract: A number of empirical studies document that marginal cost shocks are not fully passed through to prices at the firm level and that prices are substantially less volatile than costs. We show that in the relative-deep-habits model of Ravn, Schmitt-Grohé, and Uribe (2006), firm-specific marginal cost shocks are not fully passed through to product prices. That is, in response to a firm-specific increase in marginal costs, prices rise, but by less than marginal costs leading to a decline in the firm-specific markup of prices over marginal costs. Pass-through is predicted to be even lower when shocks to marginal costs are anticipated by firms. In our model unanticipated firm-specific cost shocks lead to incomplete pass-through (or a decline in markups) of about 20 percent and anticipated cost shocks are associated with incomplete pass-through of about 50 percent. The model predicts that cost pass-through is increasing in the persistence of marginal cost shocks and U-shaped in the strength of habits. The relative-deep-habits model implies that conditional on marginal cost disturbances, prices are less volatile than marginal costs.
    Keywords: cost pass-through; deep habits; markups
    JEL: D1 D4 L1
    Date: 2008–02

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