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The Source of Historical Economic Fluctuations: An Analysis Using Long-Run Restrictions

In: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004

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  • Neville Francis
  • Valerie A. Ramey

Abstract

This paper investigates the source of historical fluctuations in annual US data extending back to the late 19th century. Long-run identifying restrictions are used to decompose productivity, hours, and output into technology shocks and non-technology shocks. A variety of models with differing auxiliary assumptions are investigated. The preferred model suggests that the Great Depression was a period in which both types of shocks were very negative. On the other hand, our estimates support the microeconomic evidence of historically large positive technology shocks from 1934 to 1936. Finally, both types of shocks are responsible for the reduction in the variance of output in the post-WWII period.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Richard H. Clarida & Jeffrey Frankel & Francesco Giavazzi & Kenneth D. West, 2006. "NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clar06-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0084.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0084

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    1. Gali, Jordi & Lopez-Salido, J. David & Valles, Javier, 2003. "Technology shocks and monetary policy: assessing the Fed's performance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 723-743, May.
    2. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations," IMF Working Papers 04/234, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2004. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," NBER Working Papers 10592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," NBER Working Papers 2737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S. & Ravn, M., 1997. "On Adjusting the H-P Filter for the Frequency of Observations," Discussion Paper 1997-50, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Victor Zarnowitz & Geoffrey H. Moore, 1986. "Major Changes in Cyclical Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 519-582 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Evans, Charles L., 1992. "Productivity shocks and real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 191-208, April.
    8. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1996. "Inflation targeting in a St. Louis model of the 21st century," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 83-107.
    9. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Matthew D. Shapiro & Mark W. Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycle Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2002. "Is the Technology-Driven Real Business Cycle Hypothesis Dead?," NBER Working Papers 8726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
    13. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "The Changing Cyclical Variability of Economic Activity in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 679-734 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
    15. John Fernald, 2004. "Trend Breaks, Long Run Restrictions, and the Contractionary Effects of Technology Shocks," 2004 Meeting Papers 477, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Neville Francis & Michael T. Owyang & Athena T. Theodorou, 2003. "The use of long-run restrictions for the identification of technology shocks," Working Papers 2003-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    18. John B. Taylor, 1986. "Improvements in Macroeconomic Stability: The Role of Wages and Prices," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 639-678 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Jordi Gali, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Otto Eckstein & Allen Sinai, 1986. "The Mechanisms of the Business Cycle in the Postwar Era," NBER Chapters, in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 39-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Costello, Donna M, 1993. "A Cross-Country, Cross-Industry Comparison of Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 207-22, April.
    22. 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.
    23. Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord86-1.
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