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Trends in Hours, Balanced Growth and the Role of Technology in the Business Cycle

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  • Galí, Jordi

Abstract

The present paper revisits a property embedded in most dynamic macroeconomic models: the stationarity of hours worked. First, I argue that, contrary to what is often believed, there are many reasons why hours could be non-stationary in those models, while preserving the property of balanced growth. Second, I show that the post-war evidence for most industrialized economies is clearly at odds with the assumption of stationary hours per capita. Third, I examine the implications of that evidence for the role of technology as a source of economic fluctuations in the G7 countries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4915.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4915

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Keywords: non-stationary hours; real business cycles; technology shocks;

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  1. Robert E. Hall, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 5933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 1998. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," International Finance Discussion Papers 625, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  4. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, Jose David, 2002. "Markups, Gaps and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2004. "Can Long-Run Restrictions Identify Technology Shocks?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 3, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Whelan, Karl, 2004. "New Evidence on Balanced Growth, Stochastic Trends, and Economic Fluctations," Research Technical Papers 7/RT/04, Central Bank of Ireland.
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  8. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
  11. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  12. Whelan, Karl, 2006. "Technology Shocks and Hours Worked: Checking for Robust Conclusions," MPRA Paper 5911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  14. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
  15. Neville R. Francis & Michael T. Owyang & Athena T. Theodorou, 2005. "What Explains the Varying Monetary Response to Technology Shocks in G-7 Countries?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(3), December.
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  17. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  18. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  19. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "An Optimizing Model of U.S. Wage and Price Dynamics," Departmental Working Papers 200110, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  20. 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.
  21. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What happens after a technology shock?," International Finance Discussion Papers 768, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  22. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2005. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the Real Business Cycle Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 225-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  26. John Fernald, 2004. "Trend Breaks, Long Run Restrictions, and the Contractionary Effects of Technology Shocks," 2004 Meeting Papers 477, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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