Gold rush fever in business cycles

Paul Beaudry, Fabrice Collard, and Franck Portier


A flexible price model of the business cycle is proposed, in which fluctuations are driven primarily by inefficient movements in investment around a stochastic trend. A boom in the model arises when investors rush to exploit new market opportunities even though the resulting investments simply crowd out the value of previous investments. A metaphor for such profit driven fluctuations are gold rushes, as they are periods of economic boom associated with expenditures aimed at securing claims near new found veins of gold. An attractive feature of the model is its capacity to provide a simple structural interpretation to the properties of a standard consumption and output Vector Autoregression.

Published in

Journal of Monetary Economics, vol. 58, n. 2, 2011, pp. 84–97