What's News in Business Cycles
51 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2008 Last revised: 2 Sep 2008
Date Written: August 2008
In this paper, we perform a structural Bayesian estimation of the contribution of anticipated shocks to business cycles in the postwar United States. Our theoretical framework is a real-business-cycle model augmented with four real rigidities: investment adjustment costs, variable capacity utilization, habit formation in consumption, and habit formation in leisure. Business cycles are assumed to be driven by permanent and stationary neutral productivity shocks, permanent investment-specific shocks, and government spending shocks. Each of these shocks is buffeted by four types of structural innovations: unanticipated innovations and innovations anticipated one, two, and three quarters in advance. We find that anticipated shocks account for more than two thirds of predicted aggregate fluctuations. This result is robust to estimating a variant of the model featuring a parametric wealth elasticity of labor supply.
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