International Real Business Cycles: A Re-Visit

Discussion Papers


by NGUYEN Quoc Hung

December 2010


It is well known that several quantitative properties of international real business cycle models with are at odds with the data. First, the cross-country correlations are much higher for consumption than for output, while in the data the opposite is true (the BKK puzzle). Second, cross-country correlations of employment and investment are negative, while in the data they are positive. This paper quantitatively shows that preferences with a zero income effect on labor supply help generate a correct cross-country correlation in employment even without any restrictions on financial markets. In a bond economy, a zero income effect in labor supply, combined with time-to-build investment, can generate a positive cross-country correlation in investment, and the BKK puzzle is also resolved when the inter-temporal elasticity of substitution in labor supply is low.

Keywords: International Real Business Cycles, Income Effects, GHH Preferences
JEL classification: E21, E32, F41

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