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Employment, Hours per Worker and the Business Cycle

  • Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo
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    We examine the impact that technology shocks have in a trivariate VAR that includes productivity, hours worked per person and the employment ratio. These last two variables have trends that make them non-stationary. There are three results of interest. First, a technology shock reduces both hours and employment if those two variables are specified in first differences, with the response of employment being stronger than the response of hours. Second, a technology shock increases both hours and employment, when those two variables are specified in levels, although in this case the response of hours worked per person is stronger. Third, considering the possibility of changes in the trend growth rate of productivity reverses the results for the VARs with data in levels only. We also present a real business cycle model capable of replicating some of the results for hours and employment.

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    Paper provided by Banco de México in its series Working Papers with number 2007-02.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2007-02
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    1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Michele Boldrin & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2001. "Habit Persistence, Asset Returns, and the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 149-166, March.
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    4. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 467, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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    6. 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.
    7. John Fernald, 2004. "Trend Breaks, Long Run Restrictions, and the Contractionary Effects of Technology Shocks," 2004 Meeting Papers 477, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
    9. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
    10. Jon Faust, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," International Finance Discussion Papers 610, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Galí, Jordi & Rabanal, Pau, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Post-War US Data?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4522, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Charles L. Evans, 1991. "Productivity shocks and real business cycles," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    13. Francis, Neville & Ramey, Valerie A., 2005. "Is the technology-driven real business cycle hypothesis dead? Shocks and aggregate fluctuations revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1379-1399, November.
    14. Faust, Jon, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 207-244, December.
    15. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
    16. Hoover, Kevin D. & Perez, Stephen J., 1994. "Post hoc ergo propter once more an evaluation of 'does monetary policy matter?' in the spirit of James Tobin," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 47-74, August.
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