Beautiful Cycles: A Theory and a Model Implying a Curious Role for Interest

38 Pages Posted: 25 May 2021

See all articles by Marco Gross

Marco Gross

International Monetary Fund (IMF); European Central Bank (ECB)

Date Written: March 2021


Where do economic cycles come from? This paper contemplates an utmost minimalistic model and underlying theory that rest on two assumptions for letting them emerge endogenously: (1) the presence of interest-bearing debt; and (2) a degree of downward nominal wage rigidity. Despite its parsimony, the model generates well-behaved, self-evolving limit cycles and replicates six essential empirical facts: (1) booms are long- while recessions short-lived; (2) leverage is procyclical; (3) firm profit and wage shares in GDP are counter- and procyclical, respectively; (4) Phillips curves are downward-sloping and convex, and Okun’s law relation is replicated; (5) default cascades arise endogenously at the turning points to recessions; (6) lending spreads are countercyclical. One can refer to the model as being of a Dynamic Stochastic General Disequilibrium (DSGD) kind.

JEL Classification: E20, E30, E40, E50, E51, J30, J31, E25, G21

Suggested Citation

Gross, Marco, Beautiful Cycles: A Theory and a Model Implying a Curious Role for Interest (March 2021). IMF Working Paper No. 2021/067, Available at SSRN:

Marco Gross (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

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Washington, DC 20431
United States

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

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Frankfurt am Main, 60314

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