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What Does It Take to Explain Procyclical Productivity?

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  • Wen Yi

    () (Cornell University)

Abstract

Labor productivity comoves strongly with output, leads output and employment, and is only weakly correlated with employment. Procyclical productivity is observed in virtually all countries and industries, and it is observed even in periods of fluctuations due to pure demand shocks, such as during the Great Depression and the second World War. This paper shows that a standard RBC model driven by demand shocks alone is able to explain procyclical productivity without the need to resort to technology shocks or increasing returns to scale. The key element is labor hoarding due to adjustment cost of labor. It is also shown that the observed cross-country differences in productivity cycles can be rationalized by a single parameter alone - the size of the adjustment cost of labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Wen Yi, 2004. "What Does It Take to Explain Procyclical Productivity?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-40, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:contributions.4:y:2004:i:1:n:5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    2. Wen, Yi, 2003. "On the Optimal Volume of Labor Hoarding," Working Papers 03-14, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    3. Kevin x.d. Huang & Jie Chen & Zhe Li & Jianfei Sun, 2014. "Financial Conditions and Slow Recoveries," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 14-00004, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    4. Wen, Yi, 2005. "Understanding the inventory cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1533-1555, November.
    5. Aguiar-Conraria, Luis & Wen, Yi, 2005. "Understanding the Impact of Oil Shocks," Working Papers 05-01, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    6. Wen, Yi, 2006. "Demand shocks and economic fluctuations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 378-383, March.
    7. Luís Aguiar-Conraria & Yi Wen, 2007. "Understanding the Large Negative Impact of Oil Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 925-944, June.
    8. Cook, David & Xu, Juanyi, 2015. "Eurosclerosis and international business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 54-67.
    9. Sweder van Wijnbergen & Tim Willems, 2013. "Imperfect information, lagged labour adjustment, and the Great Moderation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 219-239, April.
    10. Hashmat Khan & John Tsoukalas, 2005. "Technology Shocks and UK Business Cycles," Macroeconomics 0512006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Wang, Peng-fei & Wen, Yi, 2005. "Endogenous money or sticky prices?--comment on monetary non-neutrality and inflation dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1361-1383, August.
    12. Wen, Yi, 2007. "By force of demand: Explaining international comovements," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-23, January.
    13. Jiang, Mingming, 2016. "By force of demand: Explaining cyclical fluctuations of international trade and government spending," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 249-267.
    14. Wang, Pengfei & Wen, Yi & Xu, Zhiwei, 2014. "What inventories tell us about aggregate fluctuations—A tractable approach to (S,s) policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 196-217.
    15. Yi Wen, 2005. "By force of demand: explaining international comovements and the saving-investment correlation puzzle," Working Papers 2005-043, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    16. Wang, Peng-fei & Wen, Yi, 2006. "Another look at sticky prices and output persistence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2533-2552, December.
    17. repec:eee:ecolet:v:160:y:2017:i:c:p:29-32 is not listed on IDEAS

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