nep-dge New Economics Papers
on Dynamic General Equilibrium
Issue of 2008‒11‒04
fifteen papers chosen by
Christian Zimmermann
University of Connecticut

  1. Sudden stops, sectoral reallocations, and the real exchange rate By Timothy J. Kehoe; Kim J. Ruhl
  2. Worker Replacement By Guido Menzio; Espen Moen
  3. Emerging market business cycles with remittance fluctuations By Ceyhun Bora Durdu; Serdar Sayan
  4. Liquidity and congestion By Gara M. Afonso
  5. Identifying Sources of Business Cycle Fluctuations in Germany 1975–1998 By Oliver Holtemöller; Torsten Schmidt
  6. Externalities in a Model of Perpetual Youth with Age-Dependent Productivity By Wendner, Ronald
  7. Exchange rates and fundamentals: a generalization By James M. Nason; John H. Rogers
  8. Beggar-thy-parents? A Lifecycle Model of Intergenerational Altruism By Sang-Wook Stanley Cho
  9. Directed Search for Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts By Shouyong Shi
  10. Labor market search and interest rate policy By Takushi Kurozumi; Willem Van Zandweghe
  11. Tax Reform in Two-Sector General Equilibrium By Olivier Cardi; Romain Restout
  12. Short-term distributional effects of structural reforms: selected simulations in a DGSE framework By Annabelle Mourougane; Lukas Vogel
  13. On Entrepreneurial Risk–Taking and the Macroeconomic Effects of Financial Constraints By Christiane Clemens and Maik Heinemann
  14. Asset Pricing in a General Equilibrium Production Economy with Chew-Dekel Risk Preferences By Claudio Campanale; Gian Luca Clementi; Rui Castro
  15. Sharing Demographic Risk – Who is Afraid of the Baby Bust? By Alexander Ludwig; Michael Reiter

  1. By: Timothy J. Kehoe; Kim J. Ruhl
    Abstract: A sudden stop of capital flows into a developing country tends to be followed by a rapid switch from trade deficits to surpluses, a depreciation of the real exchange rate, and decreases in output and total factor productivity. Substantial reallocation takes place from the nontraded sector to the traded sector. We construct a multisector growth model, calibrate it to the Mexican economy, and use it to analyze Mexico's 1994?95 crisis. When subjected to a sudden stop, the model accounts for the trade balance reversal and the real exchange rate depreciation, but it cannot account for the decreases in GDP and TFP. Extending the model to include labor frictions and variable capital utilization, we still find that it cannot quantitatively account for the dynamics of output and productivity without losing the ability to account for the movements of other variables.
    Keywords: Financial crises
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Guido Menzio (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Espen Moen (Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Management (NSM))
    Abstract: We consider a frictional labor market in which firms want to insure their senior employees against income fluctuations and, at the same time, want to recruit new employees to fill their vacant positions. Firms can commit to a wage schedule, i.e. a schedule that specifies the wage paid by the firm to its employees as function of their tenure and other observables. However, firms cannot commit to the employment relationship with any of their workers, i.e. firms can dismiss workers at will. We find that, because of the firm’s limited commitment, the optimal schedule prescribes not only a rigid wage for senior employees, but also a downward rigid wage for new hires. Moreover, we find that, while the rigidity of the wage of senior workers does not affect the allocation of labor, the rigidity of the wage of new hires magnifies the response of unemployment and vacancies to negative shocks to the aggregate productivity of labor.
    Keywords: Competitive Search, Risk Sharing, Unemployment, Business Cycles
    JEL: E24 E32 J64
    Date: 2008–09–01
  3. By: Ceyhun Bora Durdu; Serdar Sayan
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the implications of remittance fluctuations for various macroeconomic variables and Sudden Stops. The paper employs a quantitative two-sector model of a small open economy with financial frictions calibrated to Mexican and Turkish economies, two major recipients, whose remittance receipts feature opposite cyclical characteristics. We find that remittances dampen the business cycles in Mexico, whereas they amplify the cycles in Turkey. Their quantitative effects in the long run, approximated by the stochastic steady state are mild. In the short run, however, remittances have quantitatively large impacts on the economy, when the economy is borrowing constrained. This is because agents in the economy cannot adjust their precautionary wealth to sudden tightening in credit, hence, fluctuations in remittances get magnified through an endogenous debt-deflation mechanism. Our findings suggest that procyclical (or countercyclical) remittances can play a significant deepening (or mitigating) role for Sudden Stops.
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Gara M. Afonso
    Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between the arrival of potential investors and market liquidity in a search-based model of asset trading. The entry of investors into a specific market causes two contradictory effects. First, it reduces trading costs, which then attracts new investors (the thick market externality effect). But second, as investors concentrate on one side of the market, the market becomes "congested," decreasing the returns to participating in this market and discouraging new investors from entering (what we call the congestion effect). The equilibrium level of market liquidity depends on which of the two effects dominates. When congestion is the leading effect, some interesting results arise. In particular, we find that diminishing trading costs in our market can impair liquidity and reduce welfare.
    Keywords: Liquidity (Economics) ; Investments ; Rate of return ; Markov processes
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Oliver Holtemöller; Torsten Schmidt
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate a small New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model for Germany for the period from 1975 to 1998 and use it to identify the structural shocks, which have driven the business cycle. For this purpose we apply indirect inference methods, that is we specify the parameters of the theoretical model such that simulated data mimics observed data as closely as possible. In addition to the identification of structural shocks, we uncover the unobservable output gap, which is a prominent indicator in business cycle analysis. Furthermore,we show to which extent each identified shock has contributed to the business cycle fluctuations.
    Keywords: Business cycle accounting, dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models, Germany, indirect inference, New Keynesian macroeconomics
    JEL: C32 C51 E32
    Date: 2008–09
  6. By: Wendner, Ronald
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of (``keeping up with the Joneses'' and ``learning-by-investing'') externalities, when labor productivity decreases with age. Within the framework of a continuous time overlapping generations model, the effects of the consumption externality on the propensity to consume, capital level and individual consumption growth rates are ambiguous and depend on the presence (absence) and sign of the ``generation replacement effect'' (GRE). The sign of the GRE is determined by the rate at which labor productivity declines. Both externalities generate distortions --- even with exogenous labor supply. Depending on the sign of the GRE, in case of a production externality, the consumption externality may raise efficiency by introducing an additional distortion. For a specific rate of labor productivity decline the GRE vanishes. In this case, externalities display the same effects in both a representative agent and the overlapping generations model.
    Keywords: Externality; labor productivity; overlapping generations; perpetual youth; distortion; growth
    JEL: D91 E21 O40
    Date: 2008–10–31
  7. By: James M. Nason; John H. Rogers
    Abstract: Exchange rates have raised the ire of economists for more than 20 years. The problem is that few, if any, exchange rate models are known to systematically beat a naive random walk in out of sample forecasts. Engel and West (2005) show that these failures can be explained by the standard-present value model (PVM) because it predicts random walk exchange rate dynamics if the discount factor approaches one and fundamentals have a unit root. This paper generalizes the Engel and West (EW) hypothesis to the larger class of open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models. The EW hypothesis is shown to hold for a canonical open economy DSGE model. We show that all the predictions of the standard-PVM carry over to the DSGE-PVM. The DSGE-PVM also yields an unobserved components (UC) models that we estimate using Bayesian methods and a quarterly Canadian-U.S. sample. Bayesian model evaluation reveals that the data support a UC model that calibrates the discount factor to one implying the Canadian dollar-U.S. dollar exchange rate is a random walk dominated by permanent cross-country monetary and productivity shocks.
    Keywords: Foreign exchange rates
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Sang-Wook Stanley Cho (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This paper constructs a quantitative general equilibrium model with both lifecycle and dynastic features along with uninsurable labor income to assess differences in wealth and intergenerational transfers across countries. The model features both 'pure' and 'impure' forms of altruism and investigates the role of borrowing constraints in accounting for the timing of intergenerational transfers between intervivos transfers and bequests. Under a perfect capital market, the timing of parental transfers is irrelevant. However, under borrowing constraints, parental transfer will be geared towards helping out borrowing-constrained children. The model is calibrated to match the US and Korean economy. Numerical experiments show that tightening borrowing constraints leads to more intervivos transfers geared towards younger children and lower level of bequest. Borrowing constraints also play a role in accounting for the observed differences in the wealth inequality between the two economies.
    Keywords: intervivos transfer; wealth accumulation; incomplete markets
    JEL: D52 D91 E21
    Date: 2008–10
  9. By: Shouyong Shi
    Abstract: I construct a theoretical framework in which firms offer wage-tenure contracts to direct the search by risk-averse workers. All workers can search, on or off the job. I characterize an equilibrium and prove its existence. The equilibrium generates a non-degenerate, continuous distribution of employed workers over the values of contracts, despite that all matches are identical and workers observe all offers. A striking property is that the equilibrium is block recursive; that is, individuals' optimal decisions and optimal contracts are independent of the distribution of workers. This property makes the equilibrium analysis tractable. Consistent with stylized facts, the equilibrium predicts that (i) wages increase with tenure, (ii) job-to-job transitions decrease with tenure and wages, and (iii) wage mobility is limited in the sense that the lower the worker's wage, the lower the future wage a worker will move to in the next job transition. Moreover, block recursivity implies that changes in the unemployment benefit and the minimum wage have no effect on an employed worker's job-to-job transitions and contracts.
    Keywords: Directed search; On-the-job search; Wage-tenure contracts
    JEL: E24 C78 J6
    Date: 2008–10–27
  10. By: Takushi Kurozumi; Willem Van Zandweghe
    Abstract: We investigate implications of search and matching frictions in the labor market for in ation targeting interest rate policy in terms of equilibrium stability. When the interest rate is set in response to past or present in ation, determinacy of equilibrium is ensured similarly to comparable previous studies with frictionless labor markets. In stark contrast to these studies, indeterminacy is very likely if the interest rate is adjusted in response solely to expected future in ation. This is due to a vacancy channel of monetary policy that stems from the labor market frictions and renders in ation expectations self-ful lling. The indeterminacy can be overcome once the interest rate is adjusted in response also to output or the unemployment rate or if the policy contains interest rate smoothing. When E-stability is adopted as an equilibrium selection criterion, a unique E-stable fundamental rational expectations equilibrium is generated under active, but not too strong, policy responses only to expected future in ation. This suggests that the problem is not critical from the perspective of learnability of the fundamental equilibrium.
    Date: 2008
  11. By: Olivier Cardi (ERMES - Equipe de recherche sur les marches, l'emploi et la simulation - CNRS : UMR7017 - Université Panthéon-Assas - Paris II); Romain Restout (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines)
    Abstract: We use a two-sector open economy model with an imperfectly competitive non traded sector to investigate the dynamic and steady-state effects of three tax reforms : [i] two revenue-neutral tax reforms shifting the tax burden from labor to consumption taxes and [ii] one labor tax reform keeping the marginal tax wedge constant. Regardless of its form, a tax restructuring crowds-in consumption and investment and raises employment. While tax multipliers for overall output are always positive, their size depends on the type of the tax reform and the financing scheme. Interestingly, the trade balance plays a key role in determining the relative size of sectoral tax multipliers : whereas the long-term tax multiplier is always slightly higher in the traded sector than in the non traded sector, this result is reversed in the short-term. Finally, time horizon matters in determining the relationships between both overall and sectoral tax multipliers and labor responsiveness.
    Keywords: non traded goods ; investment ; employment ; tax multiplier
    Date: 2008
  12. By: Annabelle Mourougane; Lukas Vogel
    Abstract: This paper examines the short-term distributional effects of a number of tax and labour market reforms in the euro area, drawing on simulations using a micro-founded dynamic general equilibrium model. A heterogeneous household sector with two groups of consumers is considered. The first group maximises intertemporal utility over an infinite horizon in the presence of habit persistence. The second group is liquidity constrained and has no access to financial markets for intertemporal income transfers. It thus spends its disposable income entirely on current consumption. Although the examined reforms are estimated to boost aggregate consumption and output immediately after implementation, they have sizeable distributional effects. In particular, liquidity-constrained households may incur transitional losses after a cut in the benefit replacement ratio. Lowering employment and/or price adjustment costs could markedly reduce these short-term costs. A suitable compensation scheme could also reduce the uneven distribution of transitional losses, but at the expense of lower aggregate gains in the long run. <P>Effets redistributifs de court terme de réformes structurelles: simulations dans le cadre d’un modèle dynamique d’équilibre général <BR>Cet article examine les effets redistributifs de court terme d’un certain nombre de réformes dans les domaines de la fiscalité et du marché du travail dans la zone euro, à partir de simulations réalisées à l’aide d’un modèle dynamique d’équilibre général. Le secteur des ménages est hétérogène et composé de deux groupes de consommateurs. Le premier groupe maximise sa fonction d’utilité intertemporelle sur un horizon infini en présence de persistance dans son comportement de consommation. Le second groupe est contraint en matière de liquidité et n’a pas accès aux marchés financiers pour optimiser sa consommation dans le temps. Il dépense en conséquence tout son revenu disponible en consommation courante. Les réformes considérées sont estimées augmenter la consommation et la production au niveau agrégé immédiatement après leur mise en oeuvre, mais ont des effets redistributifs importants. En particulier, les ménages contraints au niveau de leur liquidité peuvent souffrir de pertes durant la période de transition après une diminution du taux de remplacement. Diminuer les coûts d’ajustement liés à l’emploi ou aux prix pourrait réduire de manière significative ces coûts de court terme. Un programme de compensation adéquate pourrait aussi lisser une distribution inégale des pertes durant la période de transition, mais au prix d’une diminution des gains de long terme au niveau agrégé.
    Keywords: réforme structurelle, structural reforms, trade transaction costs, distribution, DSGE model, modèle DSGE
    JEL: C5 D3 E00
    Date: 2008–10–28
  13. By: Christiane Clemens and Maik Heinemann (Institute of Economics, University of Lüneburg)
    Abstract: This paper deals with credit market imperfections and idiosyncratic risks in a two–sector heterogeneous agent dynamic general equilibrium model of occupational choice. We focus especially on the effects of tightening financial constraints on macroeconomic performance, entrepreneurial risk–taking, and social mobility. Contrary to many models in the literature, our comparative static results cover a broad range for borrowing constraints, from an unrestrained to a perfectly constrained economy. In our baseline model, we find substantial gains in output, welfare, and wealth equality associated with credit market improvements. The marginal gains from relaxing constraints are largest for empirically relevant debt–equity ratios. Interestingly, the entrepreneurship rate and social mobility respond non–monotonically to a change in the tightness of financial constraints. The results crucially depend on the degree of income persistence and feedback effects in general equilibrium, where optimal firm sizes and the demand for credit are determined endogenously.
    Keywords: CGE, occupational choice, financial constraints, wealth distribution
    JEL: C68 D3 D8 D9 G0 J24
    Date: 2008–10
  14. By: Claudio Campanale (Universidad de Alicante); Gian Luca Clementi (New York University); Rui Castro (Université de Montréal)
    Abstract: In this paper we provide a thorough characterization of the asset returns implied by a simple general equilibrium production economy with convex investment adjustment costs. When households have Epstein-Zin preferences, there exist plausible parametervalues such that the model generates unconditional mean risk--free rate and equity return, and volatility of consumption growth, which are in line with historical averages for the US economy. Consistently with the data, the model's implied price--dividendratio is pro-cyclical and stock returns are predictable (and increasingly so as the time horizon increases), while dividend growth is not. The model also implies realistic values for (i) the correlation of the risk--free rate with output growth and consumption growth and (ii) the correlation pattern between risk--free rate, equity return, and equity premium. The risk implied by the model is rather low. At the modal state of nature, an individual that expects to consume for 100,000 dollars a year faces a lottery over future consumption with a standard deviation of 55 dollars (per quarter). Her risk aversion is such that she's willing to pay 1 dollar (per quarter) in order to avoid that lottery. Very similar results can be obtained assuming that agents are disappointment averse in the sense of Gul (1991). With such risk preferences, the universality requirement is not a problem to the extent that it is in the case of expected utility. In fact, faced with a lottery that has a coefficient of variation 100 times as large as that implied by our model, a disappointment averse agent displays the same relative risk aversion as an expected utility agent with logarithmic utility!
    Keywords: Equity Premium, Business Cycle, Predictability, Disappointment Aversion.
    JEL: D81 E32 E43 E44 G12
    Date: 2008–10
  15. By: Alexander Ludwig; Michael Reiter (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: We model the optimal reaction of a public PAYG pension system to demographic shocks. We compare the ex-ante first best and second best solution of a Ramsey planner with full commitment to the outcome under simple third best rules that mimic the pension systems observed in the real world. The model, in particular the pension system, is calibrated to the German economy. The objective of the social planner is calibrated such that the size of the German pension system was optimal under the economic and demographic conditions of the 1960s. We find that the German system comes relatively close to the second-best solution, especially when labor market distortions are correctly modelled. Furthermore, the German system and a constant contribution rate lead to a lower variability of lifetime utility than does the second best policy. The recent baby-boom/baby-bust cycle leads to welfare losses of about 5% of lifetime consumption for some cohorts. We argue that it is crucial for these results to model correctly the labor market distortions arising from the pension system.
    JEL: E62 H3 H55
    Date: 2008–10–30

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.