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Expansionary and Contractionary Technology Improvements

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  • Balleer, Almut
  • Enders, Zeno

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of expansionary technology shocks (shocks that increase labor productivity and factor inputs) as opposed to contractionary technology shocks (shocks that increase labor productivity, but decrease factor inputs). We estimate these two shocks jointly based on a minimum set of identifying restrictions in a structural VAR. We show that most of the business cycle variation of key macroeconomic variables such as output and consumption is driven by expansionary technology shocks. However, contractionary technology shocks are important to understand the variation in labor productivity and production inputs. In addition, these shocks trigger different reactions of certain variables, which can help explain why existing evidence on technology shocks does not deliver clear results. In a simple DSGE model with managerial technology, which is consistent with our identifying restrictions, we interpret contractionary technology shocks as process innovations and motivate the difference to expansionary technology shocks. --

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 80046.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:80046

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Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2011. "Technology-Hours Redux: Tax Changes and the Measurement of Technology Shocks," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 41 - 76.
  2. 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.
  3. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2005. "Measures of Per Capita Hours and their Implications for the Technology-Hours Debate," NBER Working Papers 11694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fabio Canova & David López-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2006. "On the robust effects of technology shocks on hours worked and output," Economics Working Papers 1013, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2008.
  5. David Altig & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2004. "Firm-specific capital, nominal rigidities and the business cycle," Working Paper Series WP-05-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Balleer, Almut & van Rens, Thijs, 2009. "Cyclical Skill-Biased Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 4258, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2008. "Are Structural VARs with Long-Run Restrictions Useful in Developing Business Cycle Theory?," NBER Working Papers 14430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Online Appendix to "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle"," Technical Appendices 09-191, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  9. Renee Fry & Adrian Pagan, 2007. "Some Issues in Using Sign Restrictions for Identifying Structural VARs," NCER Working Paper Series 14, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  10. Harald Uhlig, 2004. "Do Technology Shocks Lead to a Fall in Total Hours Worked?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 361-371, 04/05.
  11. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
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