Quarterly Review 2431

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Creating Business Cycles Through Credit Constraints

Narayana Kocherlakota - Consultant

Summer 2000

Abstract
Business cycles appear to be large, persistent, and asymmetric relative to the shocks hitting the economy. This observation suggests the existence of an asymmetric amplification and propagation mechanism, which transforms the shocks into the observed movements in aggregate output. This article demonstrates, in a small open economy, how credit constraints can be such a mechanism. The article also shows, however, that the quantitative significance of the amplification which credit constraints can provide is sensitive to the quantitative specification of the underlying economy (especially factor shares).


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