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Measures of Technology and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Sweden and the U.S

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  • Alexius, Annika

    (Trade Union Institute for Economic Research)

  • Carlsson, Mikael

    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

Empirical evidence on the cyclical behavior of technology shocks, or the relative importance of technology shocks versus other structural shocks as sources of fluctuations, hinges crucially on the identification of technological changes. In this paper, we study different measures of technology in order to find out (i) to what extent they capture the same underlying phenomenon and (ii) whether the implications for macroeconomic theory vary between approaches. Several variations of the production function approach and structural VAR models are investigated: the classic Solow residual, the refined Solow residuals of Burnside et al (1995) and Basu and Kimball (1997), large cointegrated VAR models as in King et al (1991) and a small VAR in first differences à la Galí (1999). It turns out that the different measures of technological change are reasonably coherent when applied to US data. However, they are often insignificantly related in the case of Sweden. Furthermore, our results do not support the hypothesis that business cycle fluctuations are primarily drive by changes in technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Trade Union Institute for Economic Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 174.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 28 Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:fiefwp:0174

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Keywords: Technology shocks; Production function approach; Structural VAR models;

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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali, 1994. "Sources of Real Exchange Rate Fluctuations: How Important are Nominal Shocks?," NBER Working Papers 4658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Burnside, A Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," CEPR Discussion Papers 1221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1994. "Are apparent productive spillovers a figment of specification error?," International Finance Discussion Papers 463, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2000. "Why is productivity procyclical? Why do we care?," Working Paper Series WP-00-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. 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.
  6. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
  7. Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2001. "The effects of working time reductions on wages, actual hours and equilibrium unemployment," Working Paper Series 2001:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  8. Faust, Jon & Leeper, Eric M, 1997. "When Do Long-Run Identifying Restrictions Give Reliable Results?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 345-53, July.
  9. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. 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.).
  11. Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno, . "The causes of Spanish unemployment: A structural VAR apporach," Working Papers 96-19, FEDEA.
  12. Gert Wehinger, 2000. "Causes of Inflation in Europe, the United States and Japan: Some Lessons for Maintaining Price Stability in the EMU from a Structural VAR Approach," Empirica, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 83-107, March.
  13. Stockman, Alan C., 1994. "Sources of real exchange-rate fluctuations: A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 57-65, December.
  14. John H. Rogers, 1998. "Monetary shocks and real exchange rates," International Finance Discussion Papers 612, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1997. "Aggregate productivity and aggregate technology," International Finance Discussion Papers 593, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Carlsson, Mikael, 2000. "Measures of Technology and the Short-Run Responses to Technology Shocks - Is the RBC-Model Consistent with Swedish Manufacturing Data?," Working Paper Series 2000:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  19. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1991. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 819-40, September.
  20. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Dynamic General Equilibrium Models with Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets," NBER Working Papers 4502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-80, November.
  23. Trejo, Stephen J, 1993. "Overtime Pay, Overtime Hours, and Labor Unions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(2), pages 253-78, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Selén, Jan & Ståhlberg, Ann-Charlotte, 2004. "Wage and Compensation Inequality — How Different?," Working Paper Series 197, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Lundborg, Per, 2005. "Wage Fairness, Growth and the Utilization of R&D Workers," Working Paper Series 206, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Lundborg, Per, 2005. "Wage Theories for the Swedish Labour Market," Working Paper Series 207, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.

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