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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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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. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2004. "Can Long-Run Restrictions Identify Technology Shocks?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 3, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Staff Report 321, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. 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.).
  4. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S223-50, January.
  5. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2003. "Markups, Gaps, and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," Working Papers 45, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Galí, Jordi, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Whelan, Karl, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Hours Worked: Checking for Robust Conclusions," Research Technical Papers 6/RT/04, Central Bank of Ireland.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  11. Athena T. Theodorou & Neville R. Francis & Michael T. Owyang, 2004. "What Explains the Varying Monetary Response to Technology SHocks in G7-Countries," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 444, Econometric Society.
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  18. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  19. 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.
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  21. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Business Cycle Fluctuations in U.S. Macroeconomic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 6528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  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. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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