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Technology Shocks and Employment

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  • Collard, Fabrice
  • Dellas, Harris

Abstract

Recent empirical work has suggested that in response to a positive technology shock, labour productivity rises more than output, while employment shows a persistent decline. This finding has raised doubts concerning the relevance of the RBC model as well as the quantitative significance of technology shocks as a source of aggregate fluctuations. We show that the inability of the RBC model to fit these stylized facts is an artifact of the closed economy assumption. In an open economy, the flexible price RBC model can match the negative conditional correlation between productivity and employment quite well, as long as trade elasticities fall short of unity and the degree of openness is sufficiently high. The computed variance-decompositions also suggest that there is no empirical inconsistency between matching this correlation and accepting that technology shocks are the main source of variation in output. Moreover, using a low trade elasticity value does not worsen performance along any other dimensions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3680.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3680

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Keywords: employment; flexible prices; open economy; staggered prices; technological shocks;

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References

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  1. Unknown, 1998. "Discussion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 619-643, October.
  2. Michael Dotsey, 1999. "Structure from shocks," Working Paper 99-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
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  9. 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.
  10. Collard, Fabrice & Dellas, Harris, 2002. "Exchange rate systems and macroeconomic stability," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 571-599, April.
  11. José Angulo & N. Cressie & C. Wikle & P. Soidán & M. Bande & C. Glasbey & John Kent & Ana Militino & Michael Stein, 1998. "Discussion," TEST: An Official Journal of the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-285, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Artuc, Erhan & Pourpourides, Panayiotis M., 2012. "R&D and aggregate fluctuations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6017, The World Bank.
  2. Domenico J. Marchetti & Francesco Nucci, 2007. "Pricing Behavior and the Response of Hours to Productivity Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(7), pages 1587-1611, October.
  3. Martin Bodenstein, 2006. "Closing open economy models," International Finance Discussion Papers 867, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Federico S. Mandelman & Francesco Zanetti, 2008. "Technology shocks, employment, and labor market frictions," Working Paper 2008-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Bodenstein, Martin, 2011. "Closing large open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 160-177, July.
  6. Martial Dupaigne & Patrick Feve, 2009. "Technology shocks around the world," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(4), pages 592-607, October.
  7. Mandelman, Federico S. & Zanetti, Francesco, 2014. "Flexible prices, labor market frictions and the response of employment to technology shocks," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 94-102.
  8. Federico S. Mandelman & Francesco Zanetti, 2008. "Estimating general equilibrium models: an application with labour market frictions," Technical Books, Centre for Central Banking Studies, Bank of England, edition 1, number 1.
  9. Dupaigne, Martial & Fève, Patrick, 2009. "Hours Worked and Permanent Technology Shocks in Open Economies," TSE Working Papers 09-114, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  10. Francesco Zanetti & Federico S. Mandelman, 2013. "Flexible prices, labor market frictions and the response of employment to technology shocks," Economics Series Working Papers 683, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Martin Bodenstein, 2009. "Trade Elasticity of Substitution and Equilibrium Dynamics," 2009 Meeting Papers 766, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," IMF Working Papers 04/234, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Hashmat Khan & John Tsoukalas, 2005. "Technology Shocks and UK Business Cycles," Macroeconomics 0512006, EconWPA.

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