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Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations

  • Beaudry, Paul
  • Portier, Franck

A common view in macroeconomics is that business cycles can be meaningfully decomposed into fluctuations driven by demand shocks - which are shocks that have no short- or long-run effects on productivity - and fluctuations driven by unexpected changes in technology. In this Paper we propose a means of evaluating this view and we show that it is strongly at odds with the data. In contrast, we show that the data favours a view of business cycles driven primarily by a shock that does not affect productivity in the short run - therefore it looks like a demand shock - but affects productivity in the long run. The structural interpretation we suggest for this shock is that it represents news about future technological opportunities. We show that this shock explains about 50% of business cycle fluctuations and therefore deserves to be acknowledged and further understood by macroeconomists.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3844.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3844
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  1. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," NBER Working Papers 2737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Boyan Jovanovic & Jeremy Greenwood, 1999. "The Information-Technology Revolution and the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 116-122, May.
  3. Schwert, G William, 1990. " Stock Returns and Real Activity: A Century of Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1237-57, September.
  4. Pakes, Ariel, 1985. "On Patents, R & D, and the Stock Market Rate of Return," Scholarly Articles 3436409, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Nyblom, Jukka & Harvey, Andrew, 2000. "Tests Of Common Stochastic Trends," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 176-199, April.
  6. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
  7. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2002. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1986, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Jordi Gali, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2003. "Stock Market and Investment Goods Prices: Implications for Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 10031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2003. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," IDEI Working Papers 158, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.).
  13. Randall Morck & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Stock Market and Investment: Is the Market a Sideshow?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 157-216.
  14. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2002. "Speculative Growth," NBER Working Papers 9381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," NBER Working Papers 0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Fama, Eugene F, 1990. " Stock Returns, Expected Returns, and Real Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1089-1108, September.
  17. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1985. "An Unbiased Reexamination of Stock Market Volatility," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 758, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  18. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy and sunspots in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 387-448 Elsevier.
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