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

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  • Jordi Gali

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 nonstationary in those models, while preserving the property of balanced growth. Second, I show that the postwar 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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11130.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11130.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Publication status: published as Gali, Jordi. "Trends In Hours, Balanced Growth, And The Role Of Technology In The Business Cycle," FRB St. Louis - Review, 2005, v87(4,Jul/Aug), 459-486.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11130

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  1. 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.
  2. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "An Optimizing Model of U.S. Wage and Price Dynamics," Departmental Working Papers 200110, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.).
  5. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2002. "Markups, gaps, and the welfare costs of business fluctuations," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0204, Banco de Espa�a.
  6. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2005. "Can Long-Run Restrictions Identify Technology Shocks?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1237-1278, December.
  7. Robert E. Hall, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 5933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Whelan, Karl, 2006. "Technology Shocks and Hours Worked: Checking for Robust Conclusions," MPRA Paper 5911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Miles S. Kimball & John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 2006. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1418-1448, December.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  11. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  13. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2004. "The Source of Historical Economic Fluctuations: An Analysis using Long-Run Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 10631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  15. Whelan, Karl, 2006. "New Evidence on Balanced Growth, Stochastic Trends, and Economic Fluctuations," MPRA Paper 5910, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. 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.
  17. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
  18. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. John Fernald, 2004. "Trend Breaks, Long Run Restrictions, and the Contractionary Effects of Technology Shocks," 2004 Meeting Papers 477, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Business cycle fluctuations in us macroeconomic time series," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-64 Elsevier.
  21. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  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. 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.
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