Discussion Paper Series 2008-E-21

Growth Expectation

Ippei Fujiwara

For a long time, changes in expectations about the future have been thought to be significant sources of economic fluctuations, as argued by Pigou (1926). Although creating such an expectation-driven cycle (the Pigou cycle) in equilibrium business cycle models was considered to be a difficult challenge, as pointed out by Barro and King (1984), recently, several researchers have succeeded in producing the Pigou cycle by balancing the tension between the wealth effect and the substitution effect stemming from the higher expected future productivity. Seminal research by Christiano, Ilut, Motto and Rostagno (2007) explains the "stock market boom-bust cycles," characterized by increases in consumption, labor inputs, investment and the stock prices relating to high expected future technology levels, by introducing investment growth adjustment costs, habit formation in consumption, sticky prices and an inflation-targeting central bank. We, however, show that such a cycle is difficult to generate based on "growth expectation," which reflect expectations of higher productivity growth rates. Thus, Barro and King's (1984) prediction still applies.

Keywords: Expectations; Equilibrium Business Cycle; Technological Progress

Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.

Copyright © 2008 Bank of Japan All Rights Reserved.

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