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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. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Business cycle fluctuations in us macroeconomic time series," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-64 Elsevier.
  2. 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, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(3), December.
  3. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Whelan, Karl T., 2009. "Technology shocks and hours worked: Checking for robust conclusions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 231-239, June.
  5. Whelan, Karl, 2006. "New Evidence on Balanced Growth, Stochastic Trends, and Economic Fluctuations," MPRA Paper 5910, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. 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.
  7. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 427, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 1998. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," International Finance Discussion Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 625, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  11. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
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  13. John Fernald, 2004. "Trend Breaks, Long Run Restrictions, and the Contractionary Effects of Technology Shocks," 2004 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 477, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Robert E. Hall, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 5933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What happens after a technology shock?," International Finance Discussion Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 768, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. 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.
  18. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2004. "Can Long-Run Restrictions Identify Technology Shocks?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004, Society for Computational Economics 3, Society for Computational Economics.
  19. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  20. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Staff Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 321, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  21. Jordi Gali, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  23. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series, European Central Bank 0042, European Central Bank.
  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. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 467, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  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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