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Measuring our ignorance, one book at a time: New indicators of technological change, 1909-1949

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  • Alexopoulos, Michelle
  • Cohen, Jon

Abstract

New indicators of technological change in the US based on information drawn from the catalogue of the Library of Congress for the period 1909-1949 are developed and used to pinpoint the relationship, first, between technical change and economic activity, and, second, between fluctuations in innovative activity and the Great Depression. Although links between technological change, output and productivity are found, results suggest that the slowdown in technological progress in the early 1930s did not contribute significantly to the Great Depression. On the other hand, the remarkable acceleration in innovations after 1934 did play a role in the recovery.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 56 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 450-470

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:56:y:2009:i:4:p:450-470

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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Keywords: Technical change Productivity Great Depression;

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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1989. "Unit Roots in Real GNP: Do We Know, and Do We Care?," NBER Working Papers 3130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John Shea, 1998. "What Do Technology Shocks Do?," NBER Working Papers 6632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Greasley & Jakob B. Madsen, 2006. "Investment and Uncertainty: Precipitating the Great Depression in the United States," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 393-412, 08.
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  11. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 1999. "The Great Depression in the United States from a neoclassical perspective," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-24.
  12. Alexander J. Field, 2003. "The Most Technologically Progressive Decade of the Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1399-1413, September.
  13. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2011. "Read All about It!! What Happens Following a Technology Shock?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1144-79, June.
  14. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Comparison of Interwar and Postwar Business Cycles: Monetarism Reconsidered," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 250-57, May.
  15. Christina D. Romer, 1988. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 2639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Raff, Daniel M. G., 1991. "Intra-Industry Heterogeneity and the Great Depression: The American Motor Vehicles Industry, 1929–1935," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(02), pages 317-331, June.
  17. John W. Kendrick, 1961. "Productivity Trends in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kend61-1.
  18. Alexopoulos, Michelle, 2008. "Extra! Extra! Some positive technology shocks are expansionary!," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 153-156, December.
  19. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2006. "The Source of Historical Economic Fluctuations: An Analysis Using Long-Run Restrictions," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004, pages 17-73 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Blog mentions

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  1. Remember: Sticky-Wage Keynesianism is a Supply Side Theory, by Garett Jones
    by ? in Econlog on 2013-03-17 10:00:52
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Cited by:
  1. Tao Wu & Michele Cavallo, 2009. "Measuring oil-price shocks using market-based information," Working Papers 0905, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2010. "Management Matters," 2010 Meeting Papers 332, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Jon Cohen & Michelle Alexopoulos, 2009. "Uncertain Times, Uncertain Measures," 2009 Meeting Papers 1211, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Hashmat Khan & John Tsoukalas, 2011. "Effects of Productivity Shocks on Employment: UK Evidence (revised 25 February 2013)," Carleton Economic Papers 11-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2013.
  5. Michelle Alexopoulos & Jon Cohen, 2012. "The Effects of Computer Technologies on the Canadian Economy: Evidence from New Direct Measures," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 23, pages 17-32, Spring.

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