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Product Prices and the OECD Cycle

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  • Jaume Ventura

Abstract

It is well known that business cycles in OECD countries exhibit a remarkable degree of synchronization. Much less known is that the peak of the OECD cycle is associated with high prices of labour-intensive products and low prices of capital-intensive ones. We document this cyclical behavior of product prices and argue that it offers an important clue as to why business cycles are so synchronized. Positive shocks in one or more countries raise the prices of labour-intensive products and, as a result, the demand for labour throughout the industrialized world. This generates increases in wages, employment and output in all industrial countries. Through this channel, shocks are positively transmitted across countries, creating a force towards the synchronization of business cycles.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 99-01.

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Date of creation: Jan 1999
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Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:99-01

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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
Phone: (617) 253-3361
Fax: (617) 253-1330
Web page: http://econ-www.mit.edu/
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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
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References

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  1. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  2. Aart Kraay & Jaume Ventura, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and the Cross-section of Business Cycles," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1300-1333, December.
  3. David Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "International Business Cycles: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Aart Kray & Jaume Ventura, 2001. "Comparative advantage and the cross-section of business cycles," Economics Working Papers 845, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert J. Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2000. "Closed and Open Economy Models of Business Cycles with Marked Up and Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 8043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cuñat, Alejandro & Maffezzoli, Marco, 2002. "Heckscher-Ohlin Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 3382, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Ellen McGrattan, 2001. "Predicting the effects of Federal Reserve policy in a sticky price model: an analytical approach," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  4. Keyu Jin, 2009. "International business cycles with heterogeneous sectors," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25828, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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