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Variance properties of Solow's productivity residual and their cyclical implications

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  • Mary G. Finn
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    Abstract

    For the United States economy (1960-1989), the correlation between the growth rates of the Solow residual and the real price of energy (government spending) is -0.55 (0.09). The Solow residual confounds movements in energy prices and government spending with those in true technology. Why? To address this question, this study develops a model to see if it quantitatively captures the endogenous transmission mechanism underlying the observed Solow residual correlations. It does. The transmission mechanism depends on endogenous capital utilization. With this transmission mechanism in place, and with the occurrence of shocks to 'true' technology, energy prices, and government spending, the model economy accounts for 76 or 89 percent of U.S. output volatility, well matches the U.S. empirical regularities involving capital utilization and the Solow residual, and is generally consistent with other features of U.S. business cycles.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 94-01.

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    Date of creation: 1994
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:94-01

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    Keywords: Energy policy ; Prices;

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    1. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Taubman, Paul & Wilkinson, Maurice, 1970. "User Cost, Capital Utilization and Investment Theory," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 11(2), pages 209-15, June.
    3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1991. "Hours and Employment Variation in Business Cycle Theory," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 63-81, January.
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    5. Hercowitz, Z., 1992. "Macroeconomic Implication of Investment-Specific Technological Change," Papers 13-92, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    6. Finn, Mary G. & Hoffman, Dennis L. & Schlagenhauf, Don E., 1990. "Intertemporal asset-pricing relationships in barter and monetary economies An empirical analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 431-451, June.
    7. Cooley, Thomas F. & Hansen, Gary D., 1992. "Tax distortions in a neoclassical monetary economy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 290-316, December.
    8. Greenwood, Jeremy & Huffman, Gregory W., 1991. "Tax analysis in a real-business-cycle model : On measuring Harberger triangles and Okun gaps," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 167-190, April.
    9. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z., 1991. "The Allocation of Capital and Time Over the Business Cycles," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9104, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    10. Hamilton, James D, 1983. "Oil and the Macroeconomy since World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 228-48, April.
    11. Michael Dotsey & Max Reid, 1992. "Oil shocks, monetary policy, and economic activity," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Jul, pages 14-27.
    12. Mendoza, Enrique G, 1991. "Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 797-818, September.
    13. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
    14. Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1990. "Business cycles: real facts and a monetary myth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 3-18.
    15. Finn, Mary G., 1990. "On savings and investment dynamics in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 1-21, August.
    16. Rasche, Robert H. & Tatom, John A., 1981. "Energy price shocks, aggregate supply and monetary policy: The theory and the international evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 9-93, January.
    17. Kydland, Finn E., 1984. "Labor-force heterogeneity and the business cycle," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 173-208, January.
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