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New Evidence on Balanced Growth, Stochastic Trends, and Economic Fluctations

  • Whelan, Karl

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

The one-sector Solow-Ramsey model informs how most modern researchers characterize macroeconomic trends and cycles, and evidence supporting the model’s balanced growth predictions is often cited. This paper shows, however, that the inclusion of recent data leads to the balanced growth predictions being rejected. An alternative balanced growth hypothesis-that the ratio of nominal consumption to nominal investment is stationery-is put forward, and new measures of the stochastic trends and cycles in aggregate US data are derived based on this hypothesis. The contrasting behaviour of real and nominal ratios is consistent with a two-sector model of economic growth, with separate production technologies for consumption and investment and two stochastic trends underlying the long-run behaviour of all macroeconomic series. Empirical estimates of these stochastic trends are presented based on a structural VAR and the role played in the business cycle by shocks to these trends is discussed.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Ireland in its series Research Technical Papers with number 7/RT/04.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:7/rt/04
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  1. Elliott, Graham & Rothenberg, Thomas J & Stock, James H, 1996. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 813-36, July.
  2. Robert G. King & Charles I. Plosser & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1987. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gali, J., 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," Working Papers 96-28, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  5. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2006. "The Dynamic Effects of Neutral and Investment-Specific Technology Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 413-451, June.
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  7. Charles I. Jones, 2005. "The Shape of Production Functions and the Direction of Technical Change," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 517-549, May.
  8. Chang-Jin Kim & Jeremy Piger, 2000. "Common Stochastic Trends, Common Cycles, and Asymmetry in Economic Fluctuations," Working Papers 0021, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  9. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  10. Whelan, Karl, 2002. "A Guide to U.S. Chain Aggregated NIPA Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(2), pages 217-33, June.
  11. Johansen, Soren, 1995. "Likelihood-Based Inference in Cointegrated Vector Autoregressive Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774501.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Michael J. Boskin, 1998. "Consumer Prices, the Consumer Price Index, and the Cost of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
  14. Whelan, Karl, 2003. " A Two-Sector Approach to Modeling U.S. NIPA Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 627-56, August.
  15. Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1996. "Real-Business-Cycle Models and the Forecastable Movements in Output, Hours, and Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 71-89, March.
  16. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001. "LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
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  19. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
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