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Trends in Hours, Balanced Growth and the Role of Technology in the Business Cycle

  • Galí, Jordi

The present paper revisits a property embedded in most dynamic macroeconomic models: the stationarity of hours worked. First, I argue that, contrary to what is often believed, there are many reasons why hours could be non-stationary in those models, while preserving the property of balanced growth. Second, I show that the post-war evidence for most industrialized economies is clearly at odds with the assumption of stationary hours per capita. Third, I examine the implications of that evidence for the role of technology as a source of economic fluctuations in the G7 countries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4915.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4915
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  1. repec:ucn:oapubs:10197/226 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2005. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the Real Business Cycle Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 225-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2005. "Can Long-Run Restrictions Identify Technology Shocks?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1237-1278, December.
  4. Robert E. Hall, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," NBER Working Papers 5933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  7. Neville Francis & Michael T. Owyang & Athena T. Theodorou, 2005. "What explains the varying monetary response to technology shocks in G-7 countries?," Working Papers 2004-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2004. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," NBER Working Papers 10592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  10. Whelan, Karl T., 2009. "Technology shocks and hours worked: Checking for robust conclusions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 231-239, June.
  11. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Staff Report 321, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. 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.
  13. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, Jose David, 2002. "Markups, Gaps and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  16. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  17. Argia Sbordone, 2002. "An optimizing model of U.S. wage and price dynamics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  18. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," Working papers 427, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Business cycle fluctuations in us macroeconomic time series," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-64 Elsevier.
  20. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2002. "Is the Technology-Driven Real Business Cycle Hypothesis Dead?," NBER Working Papers 8726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. John Fernald, 2004. "Trend Breaks, Long Run Restrictions, and the Contractionary Effects of Technology Shocks," 2004 Meeting Papers 477, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.).
  25. repec:ucn:oapubs:10197/218 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Whelan, Karl, 2006. "New Evidence on Balanced Growth, Stochastic Trends, and Economic Fluctuations," MPRA Paper 5910, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  27. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  28. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
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