nep-dge New Economics Papers
on Dynamic General Equilibrium
Issue of 2008‒06‒07
fourteen papers chosen by
Christian Zimmermann
University of Connecticut

  1. Divergence in Labor Market Institutions and International Business Cycles By Raquel Fonseca; Lise Patureau
  2. Specific capital and vintage effects on the dynamics of unemployment and vacancies By Burcu Eyigungor
  3. Monopolistic Competition and the Dependent Economy Model By Romain Restout
  4. Overlapping Generations Models of General Equilibrium By John Geanakoplos
  5. Local indeterminacy in two-sector overlapping generations models By Carine Nourry; Alain Venditti
  6. Tax Evasion and Financial Repression: A Reconsideration Using Endogenous Growth Models By Rangan Gupta; Emmanuel Ziramba
  7. Tax Cuts in Open Economies By Alejandro Cuñat; Szabolcs Deak; Marco Maffezzoli
  8. Optimal External Debt and Default By Bernardo Guimaraes
  9. Uncertainty and the politics of employment protection By Vindigni, Andrea
  10. Do Redistributive Pension Systems Increase Inequalities and Welfare? By Christophe Hachon
  11. Return Migration as a Channel of Brain Gain By Karin Mayr; Giovanni Peri
  12. The two-period rational inattention model: accelerations and analyses By Kurt F. Lewis
  13. Labor Market Reforms, Job Instability, and the Flexibility of the Employment Relationship By Niko Matouschek; P Ramezzana; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud
  14. Fiscal Policy over the Real Business Cycle: A Positive Theory By Marco Battaglini; Stephen Coate

  1. By: Raquel Fonseca; Lise Patureau
    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. The authors first document stylized facts supporting that heterogeneous labor market institutions are associated with lower cross-country GDP correlations among OECD countries. They 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, they model monopolistic competition and nominal price rigidity. Labor market frictions are introduced through a matching function ˆ la Mortensen and Pissarides (1999). Their 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. Their overall results show that taking into account labor market heterogeneity improves their understanding of the quantity puzzle.
    Keywords: International business cycle, labor market institutions, wage bargaining
    JEL: E24 E32 F41
    Date: 2008–04
  2. By: Burcu Eyigungor
    Abstract: In a reasonably calibrated Mortensen and Pissarides matching model, shocks to average labor productivity can account for only a small portion of the fluctuations in unemployment and vacancies (Shimer (2005a)). In this paper, the author argues that if vintage specific shocks rather than aggregate productivity shocks are the driving force of fluctuations, the model does a better job of accounting for the data. She adds heterogeneity in jobs (matches) with respect to the time the job is created in the form of different embodied technology levels. The author also introduces specific capital that, once adapted for a match, has less value in another match. In the quantitative analysis, she shows that shocks to different vintages of entrants are able to account for fluctuations in unemployment and vacancies and that, in this environment, specific capital is important to decreasing the volatility of the destruction rate of existing matches.
    Keywords: Unemployment
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Romain Restout (ECONOMIX (University Paris X) and University of Lyon, Lyon, F-69003, France; CNRS, UMR 5824, GATE, Ecully, F-69130, France; ENS LSH, Lyon, F-69007, France ; Centre Leon Berard, Lyon, F-69003, France)
    Abstract: This paper explores the consequences of introducing a monopolistic competition in an intertemporal two-sector small open economy model which produces traded and non traded goods. It is assumed that the non traded sector is the locus of the imperfectly competition. Our analysis shows that markup depends on the composition of aggregate non traded demand and is therefore endogenously determined in the model. Calibrating the model with OECD parameters, the effects of fiscal and technological shocks are simulated. Our findings are as follows. First, the model is consistent with the observed saving-investment correlations found in the data. Second, unlike the perfectly framework and in accordance with empirical studies, fiscal shocks cause real appreciation of the relative price of non traded goods, which in turn enlarges the responses of current account and investment. Third, the model is consistent with the empirical report that technological shocks result in current account deficits and investment rises. Fourth, the strength of the relative price appreciation following sector productivity differentials, i.e. the Balassa-Samuelson effect, is affected by the monopolistic competition hypothesis. Assume perfect competition when it is not, biases upward estimates of the Balassa-Samuelson effect.
    Keywords: fiscal policy, monopolistic competition, productivity
    JEL: E20 E62 F31 F41
    Date: 2008
  4. By: John Geanakoplos (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: The OLG model of Allais and Samuelson retains the methodological assumptions of agent optimization and market clearing from the Arrow-Debreu model, yet its equilibrium set has different properties: Pareto inefficiency, indeterminacy, positive valuation of money, and a golden rule equilibrium in which the rate of interest is equal to population growth (independent of impatience). These properties are shown to derive not from market incompleteness, but from lack of market clearing "at infinity;" they can be eliminated with land or uniform impatience. The OLG model is used to analyze bubbles, social security, demographic effects on stock returns, the foundations of monetary theory, Keynesian vs. real business cycle macromodels, and classical vs. neoclassical disputes.
    Keywords: Demography, Inefficiency, Indeterminacy, Money, Bubbles, Cycles, Rate of interest, Impatience, Land, Infinity, Expectations, Social security, Golden rule
    JEL: D1 D3 D5 D6 D9 E11 E12 E13 E2 E3 E4 E6
    Date: 2008–05
  5. By: Carine Nourry (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - CNRS : UMR6579); Alain Venditti (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - CNRS : UMR6579)
    Abstract: In this paper, we consider a two-sector two-periods overlapping generations model with inelastic labor, consumption in both periods of life and homothetic CES preferences. We assume in a first step that the consumption levels are gross substitutes and the consumption good is capital intensive. We prove that when dynamic efficiency holds, the occurrence of sunspot fluctuations requires low enough values for the sectoral elasticities of capital-labor substitution. On the contrary, under dynamic inefficiency, local indeterminacy may be obtained without any restriction on the input substitutability properties. Assuming in a second step that gross substitutability in consumption does not hold, we show that sunspot fluctuations arise under dynamic efficiency without any restriction on the sign of the capital intensity difference across sectors and provided the sectoral elasticities of capital-labor substitution admit intermediary values.
    Keywords: Two-sector OLG model, social production function, dynamic (in)efficiency, gross substitutability in consumption, local indeterminacy, sunspot fluctuations
    Date: 2008–05–28
  6. By: Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Emmanuel Ziramba (Department of Economics, University of South Africa)
    Abstract: Using two dynamic monetary general equilibrium models characterized by endogenous growth, financial repression and endogenously determined tax evasion, we analyze whether financial repression can be explained by tax evasion. When calibrated to four Souther European economies, we show that higher degrees of tax evasion within a country, resulting from a higher level of corruption and a lower penalty rate, yields higher degrees of financial repression as a social optimum. However, a higher degree of tax evasion, due to a lower tax rate, reduces the severity of the financial restriction. In addition, we find the results to be robust across growth models with or without productive public expenditures. The only difference being that the policy parameters in the former case have higher optimal values.
    Keywords: Underground Economy, Tax evasion, Macroeconomic Policy
    JEL: E26 E63
    Date: 2008–05
  7. By: Alejandro Cuñat; Szabolcs Deak; Marco Maffezzoli
    Abstract: A reduction in income tax rates generates substantial dynamic responses within the framework of the standard neoclassical growth model. The short-run revenue loss after an income tax cut is partly - or, depending on parameter values, even completely - offset by growth in the long-run, due to the resulting incentives to further accumulate capital. We study how the dynamic response of government revenue to a tax cut changes if we allow a Ramsey economy to engage in international trade: the open economy's ability to reallocate resources between labor-intensive and capital-intensive industries reduces the negative effect of factor accumulation on factor returns, thus encouraging the economy to accumulate more than it would do under autarky. We explore the quantitative implications of this intuition for the US in terms of two issues recently treated in the literature: dynamic scoring and the Laffer curve. Our results demonstrate the internaional trade enhances the response of government revenue to tax cuts by a relevant amount. In our benchmark calibration, a reduction in the capital-income tax rate has virtually no effect on government revenue in steady state.
    Keywords: international trade, Heckscher-Ohlin, dynamic macroeconomics, taxation, revenue estimation, Laffer curve
    JEL: E13 E60 F11 F43 H20
    Date: 2008–03
  8. By: Bernardo Guimaraes
    Abstract: This paper analyses whether sovereign default episodes can be seen as contingencies ofoptimal international lending contracts. The model considers a small open economy withcapital accumulation and without commitment to repay debt. Taking first orderapproximations of Bellman equations, I derive analytical expressions for the equilibriumlevel of debt and the optimal debt contract. In this environment, debt relief generated byreasonable fluctuations in productivity is an order of magnitude below that generated byshocks to world interest rates. Debt relief prescribed by the model following the interest ratehikes of 1980-81 accounts for a substantial part of the debt forgiveness obtained by the mainLatin American countries through the Brady agreements.
    Keywords: sovereign debt, default, capital flows, optimal contract, world interest rates
    JEL: F3 F4 G1
    Date: 2008–02
  9. By: Vindigni, Andrea
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role that idiosyncratic uncertainty plays in shaping social preferences over the degree of labor market flexibility, in a general equilibrium model of dynamic labor demand where the productivity of firms evolves over time as a Geometric Brownian motion. A key result demonstrated is that how the economy responds to shocks, i.e. unexpected changes in the drift and standard deviation of the stochastic process describing the dynamics of productivity, depends on the power of labor to extract rents and on the status quo level of firing costs. In particular, we show that when firing costs are relatively low to begin with, a transition to a rigid labor market is favored by all and only the employed workers with idiosyncratic productivity below some threshold value. A more volatile environment, and a lower rate of productivity growth, i.e. "bad times", increase the political support for more labor market rigidity only where labor appropriates of relatively large rents. Moreover, we demonstrate that when the status quo level of firing costs is relatively high, the preservation of a rigid labor market is favored by the employed with intermediate productivity, whereas all other workers favor more flexibility. The coming of better economic conditions need not favor the demise of high firing costs in rigid high-rents economies, because "good times" cut down the support for flexibility among the least productive employed workers. The model described provides some new insights on the comparative dynamics of labor market institutions in the U.S. and in Europe over the last few decades, shedding some new light both on the reasons for the original build-up of "Eurosclerosis", and for its the persistence up to the present day.
    Keywords: employment protection, firing costs, productivity, political economy, rents, volatility, growth, institutional divergence.
    JEL: D71 D72 E24 J41 J63 J65
    Date: 2008–05
  10. By: Christophe Hachon (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: Using a capital-skill complementarity technology, we analytically show that an increase in the direct redistributivity of Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) pension systems has a positive impact on wages and on wage inequalities. We also show that life expectancy<br />inequalities play an important role in the achievement of these results. Then, we calibrate our model and we and that, if life expectancy inequalities are suffciently high, a more redistributive pension system increases the wealth and the welfare of every agent of the economy. Moreover, such a policy decreases the tax rate of the pension system.
    Keywords: Inequality, Pension System, Redistribution, Capital-Skill Complementarity
    Date: 2008–06–04
  11. By: Karin Mayr; Giovanni Peri
    Abstract: Recent theoretical and empirical studies have emphasized the fact that the prospect of international migration increases the expected returns to skills in poor countries, linking the possibility of migrating (brain drain) with incentives to higher education (brain gain). If emigration is uncertain and some of the highly educated remain, such a channel may, at least in part, counterbalance the negative effects of brain drain. Moreover, recent empirical evidence seems to show that temporary migration is widespread among highly skilled migrants (such as Eastern Europeans in Western Europe and Asians in the U.S.). This paper develops a simple tractable overlapping generations model that provides an economic rationale for return migration and which predicts who will migrate and who will return among agents with heterogeneous abilities. We use parameter values from the literature and the data on return migration to simulate the model and quantify the effects of increased openness on human capital and wages of the sending countries. We find that, for plausible values of the parameters, the return migration channel is very important and combined with the incentive channel reverses the brain drain into significant brain gain for the sending country.
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2008–05
  12. By: Kurt F. Lewis
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates the properties of and a solution method for the more general two-period Rational Inattention model of Sims (2006). It is shown that the corresponding optimization problem is convex and can be solved very quickly. This paper also demonstrates a computational tool well-suited to solving Rational Inattention models and further illustrates a critique raised in Sims (2006) regarding Rational Inattention models whose solutions assume parametric formulations rather than solve for their optimally-derived, non-parametric counterparts.
    Date: 2008
  13. By: Niko Matouschek; P Ramezzana; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud
    Abstract: We endogenize separation in a search model of the labor market and allow for bargaining over the continuation of employment relationships following productivity shocks to take place under asymmetric information. In such a setting separation may occur even if continuation of the employment relationship is privately efficient for workers and firms. We show that reductions in the cost of separation, owing for example to a reduction in firing taxes, lead to an increase in job instability and, when separation costs are initially high, may be welfare decreasing for workers and firms. We furthermore show that, in response to an exogenous reduction in firing taxes, workers and firms may switch from rigid to flexible employment contracts, which further amplifies the increase in job instability caused by policy reform.
    Keywords: search, bargaining, asymmetric information, labor market reform
    JEL: J41 D82
    Date: 2008–04
  14. By: Marco Battaglini; Stephen Coate
    Abstract: This paper presents a political economy theory of the behavior of fiscal policy over the business cycle. The theory predicts that, in both booms and recessions, fiscal policies are set so that the marginal cost of public funds obeys a submartingale. In the short run, fiscal policy can be pro-cyclical with government debt spiking up upon entering a boom. However, in the long run, fiscal policy is counter-cyclical with debt increasing in recessions and decreasing in booms. Government spending increases in booms and decreases during recessions, while tax rates decrease during booms and increase in recessions. Data on tax rates from the G7 countries supports the submartingale prediction, and the correlations between fiscal policy variables and national income implied by the theory are consistent with much of the existing evidence from the U.S. and other countries.
    JEL: D70 E62 H60
    Date: 2008–05

This nep-dge issue is ©2008 by Christian Zimmermann. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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