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Is The Technology-Driven Real Business Cycle Hypothesis Dead? Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations Revisted

  • Ramey, Valerie A
  • Francis, Neville

In this paper we re-examine the recent evidence that technology shocks do not produce business cycle patterns in the data. We first extend Gali's (1999) work, which uses long-run restrictions to identify technology shocks, by examining whether the identified shocks can be plausibly interpreted as technology shocks. We do this in three ways. First, we derive additional long-run restrictions and use them as tests of overidentification. Second, we compare the qualitative implications from the model with the impulse responses of variables such as wages and consumption. Third, we test whether some standard "exogenous" variables predict the shock variables. We find that ilshocks, military build-ups, and Romer dates do not predict the sholck labeled "technology." We then show ways in which a standard DGE model can be modified to fit Gali's finding that a positive technology shock leads to lower labor input. Finally, we re-examine the properties of the other key shock to the system.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC San Diego in its series University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt6x80k3nx.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt6x80k3nx
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  1. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 901-21, September.
  2. Beaudry, Paul & Guay, Alain, 1996. "What do interest rates reveal about the functioning of real business cycle models?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(9-10), pages 1661-1682.
  3. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1991. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 819-40, September.
  4. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2004. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," NBER Working Papers 10592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What happens after a technology shock?," International Finance Discussion Papers 768, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. John Shea, 1999. "What Do Technology Shocks Do?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 275-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
  9. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Matthew Shapiro & Mark Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycles Fluctuations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 111-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Charles L. Evans, 1991. "Productivity shocks and real business cycles," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Michael Dotsey, 2002. "Structure from shocks," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 37-47.
  13. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D. M., 2004. "Fiscal shocks and their consequences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 89-117, March.
  14. Michele Boldrin & Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2000. "Habit persistence, asset returns and the business cycle," Staff Report 280, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Gali, Jordi & Lopez-Salido, J. David & Valles, Javier, 2003. "Technology shocks and monetary policy: assessing the Fed's performance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 723-743, May.
  16. 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.
  17. Jermann, Urban J., 1998. "Asset pricing in production economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 257-275, April.
  18. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1999. "Costly Capital Reallocation and the Effects of Government Spending," NBER Working Papers 6283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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.
  20. Ahmed, Shaghil & Yoo, Byung Sam, 1995. "Fiscal Trends in Real Economic Aggregates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 985-1001, November.
  21. 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.
  22. Jones, John Bailey, 2002. "Has fiscal policy helped stabilize the postwar U.S. economy?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 709-746, May.
  23. Baxter, Marianne & King, Robert G, 1993. "Fiscal Policy in General Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 315-34, June.
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