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Drift and Breaks in Labour Productivity

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  • Benati, Luca

Abstract

We use tests for multiple breaks at unknown points in the sample, and the Stock-Watson (1996, 1998) time-varying parameters median-unbiased estimation methodology, to investigate changes in the equilibrium rate of growth of labor productivity–both per hour and per worker–in the United States, the Eurozone Australia, and Japan over the post-WWII era. Results for the U.S. well capture the 'conventional wisdom’ of a golden era of high productivity growth, the 1950s and 1960s; a marked deceleration starting from the beginning of the 1970s; and a strong growth resurgence starting from mid-1990s. Interestingly, evidence suggests the 1990s’ productivity acceleration to have reached a plateau over the last few years. Results for the Eurozone point towards a marked deceleration since the beginning of the 1980s, with the equilibrium rate of growth of output per hour falling to 0.9% in 2004:4. Results based on Cochrane’s variance ratio estimator suggest a non-negligible fraction of the quarter-on-quarter change in labor productivity growth to be permanent. From a technical point of view, we propose a new method for constructing confidence intervals for variance ratio estimates based on spectral bootstrapping. Preliminary Monte Carlo evidence suggests such a method to possess good coverage properties.

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  • Benati, Luca, 2006. "Drift and Breaks in Labour Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5801, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5801
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    Cited by:

    1. Delle Monache, Davide & Petrella, Ivan, 2017. "Adaptive models and heavy tails with an application to inflation forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 482-501.
    2. Menzie D. Chinn & Laurent Ferrara & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "Post-recession US Employment through the Lens of a Non-linear Okun's law," NBER Working Papers 19047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mendieta-Muñoz, Ivan, 2015. "Is potential output growth falling?," MPRA Paper 68278, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. PETER McADAM & ALPO WILLMAN, 2013. "Technology, Utilization, and Inflation: What Drives the New Keynesian Phillips Curve?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(8), pages 1547-1579, December.
    5. Riggi, Marianna & Venditti, Fabrizio, 2015. "The time varying effect of oil price shocks on euro-area exports," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 75-94.
    6. Benati, Luca & Mumtaz, Haroon, 2007. "U.S. evolving macroeconomic dynamics: a structural investigation," Working Paper Series 746, European Central Bank.
    7. Delle Monache, Davide & Petrella, Ivan & Venditti, Fabrizio, 2016. "Adaptive state space models with applications to the business cycle and financial stress," CEPR Discussion Papers 11599, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Benati, Luca, 2008. "Investigating inflation persistence across monetary regimes," Working Paper Series 851, European Central Bank.
    9. Georgiadis, Georgios, 2014. "Towards an explanation of cross-country asymmetries in monetary transmission," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 66-84.
    10. Juan Antolin-Diaz & Thomas Drechsel & Ivan Petrella, 2017. "Tracking the Slowdown in Long-Run GDP Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(2), pages 343-356, May.
    11. Antolin-Diaz, Juan & Drechsel, Thomas & Petrella, Ivan, 2014. "Following the Trend: Tracking GDP when Long-Run Growth is Uncertain," CEPR Discussion Papers 10272, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Luca Benati, 2008. "Investigating Inflation Persistence Across Monetary Regimes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1005-1060.
    13. Benati, Luca, 2014. "Do TFP and the relative price of investment share a common I(1) component?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 239-261.
    14. Davide Delle Monache & Ivan Petrella, 2014. "Adaptive Models and Heavy Tails," Working Papers 720, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    15. Richard Dion & Robert Fay, 2008. "Understanding Productivity: A Review of Recent Technical Research," Discussion Papers 08-3, Bank of Canada.
    16. Benati, Luca & Goodhart, Charles, 2008. "Investigating time-variation in the marginal predictive power of the yield spread," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1236-1272, April.
    17. Juan F. Jimeno & Esther Moral & Lorena Saiz, 2006. "Structural breaks in labor productivity growth: the United States vs. the European Union," Working Papers 0625, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    18. Philipp Wegmueller, 2015. "International Evidence on Time-Variation in Trend Labor Productivity Growth," Diskussionsschriften dp1602, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bootstrapping; frequency domain; median-unbiased estimation; Monte Carlo integration; structural break tests; time-varying parameters; variance ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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