CoPS/IMPACT Working Paper Number G-193

Title: Simulating the U.S. Recession with and without the Obama package: the role of excess capacity

Authors: Peter B. Dixon and Maureen T. Rimmer


Simulations with dynamic, single-country, CGE models typically imply that reductions in domestic demand, e.g. a cut in investment, generate increases in exports and reductions in imports facilitated by real depreciation. However, currently in the U.S. a large reduction in investment is occurring simultaneously with a contraction in exports and little movement in the real exchange rate. We show that to describe this situation it is necessary to drop the standard CGE assumption that capital is always fully employed in every industry. After introducing an excess-capacity specification, we simulate the U.S. recession with and without the Obama stimulus package.

JEL classification: C68; D50; E30; E60.

Keywords: U.S. recession; CGE modelling; excess capacity; sticky rents; mark-up pricing.

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