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Nonfundamental Representations of the Relation between Technology Shocks and Hours Worked

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  • Matteo Barigozzi
  • Marco Capasso

Abstract

Estimating the response of hours worked to technology shocks is often considered as a crucial step for evaluating the applicability of macroeconomic models to reality. In particular, Galí [1999] has considered the conditional correlation between employment and productivity as a key tool for building an empirical evaluation of Real Business Cycle theories and New-Keynesian models. Impulse-response functions are often identified by means of Structural Vector AutoRegressive models. However, a structural Moving Average model of the economy cannot be estimated by VAR techniques whenever the agents' information space is larger than the econometrician's one, that is when we face a problem of nonfundamentalness. We consider how factor models can be seen as an alternative to VAR for assessing the validity of an economic model without having to deal with the problem of nonfundamentalness. We apply this method to the well known business cycle model by Galí [1999], which originally was estimated using a VAR, and retrieve alternative nonfundamental representations of the relation between technology shocks and hours worked. Such representations always yield a positive correlation between productivity and hours worked when conditioning on a technology shock. This result is more robust than the results by Christiano et al. [2004], because it is independent of the transformation used for hours worked and moreover is perfectly consistent with the unconditional correlation observed between the common components of the variables considered.

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2008/09.

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Date of creation: Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2008/09

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Keywords: technology; hours worked; factor models;

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  1. Forni, Mario & Giannone, Domenico & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2009. "Opening The Black Box: Structural Factor Models With Large Cross Sections," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(05), pages 1319-1347, October.
  2. Lucrezia Reichlin & Domenico Giannone & Luca Sala, . "Monetary policy in real time," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10177, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    • Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Luca Sala, 2005. "Monetary Policy in Real Time," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 161-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan Francisco Rubio-Ramírez & Thomas Sargent, 2005. "A, B, C’s, (and D’s) for understanding VARs," Working Paper 2005-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-46, May.
  5. Jean Boivin & Marc Giannoni, 2006. "DSGE Models in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 12772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hallin, Marc & Liska, Roman, 2007. "Determining the Number of Factors in the General Dynamic Factor Model," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 603-617, June.
  7. Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1993. "The dynamic effects of aggregate demand and supply disturbances: comment," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10159, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. 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.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2004. "The Response of Hours to a Technology Shock: Evidence Based on Direct Measures of Technology," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 381-395, 04/05.
  10. Gamber, Edward N & Joutz, Frederick L, 1993. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1387-93, December.
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