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Measures of Technology and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Sweden and the U.S

  • Alexius, Annika

    (Trade Union Institute for Economic Research)

  • Carlsson, Mikael

    (Department of Economics)

Empirical evidence on the cyclical behavior of technology shocks, or the relative importance of technology shocks versus other structural shocks as sources of fluctuations, hinges crucially on the identification of technological changes. In this paper, we study different measures of technology in order to find out (i) to what extent they capture the same underlying phenomenon and (ii) whether the implications for macroeconomic theory vary between approaches. Several variations of the production function approach and structural VAR models are investigated: the classic Solow residual, the refined Solow residuals of Burnside et al (1995) and Basu and Kimball (1997), large cointegrated VAR models as in King et al (1991) and a small VAR in first differences à la Galí (1999). It turns out that the different measures of technological change are reasonably coherent when applied to US data. However, they are often insignificantly related in the case of Sweden. Furthermore, our results do not support the hypothesis that business cycle fluctuations are primarily drive by changes in technology.

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Paper provided by Trade Union Institute for Economic Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 174.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 28 Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:fiefwp:0174
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  1. Jordi Galí & Richard Clarida, 1993. "Sources of real exchage rate fluctuations: How important are nominal shocks?," Economics Working Papers 66, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 1994.
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  4. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 67-124 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Carlsson, Mikael, 2000. "Measures of Technology and the Short-Run Responses to Technology Shocks - Is the RBC-Model Consistent with Swedish Manufacturing Data?," Working Paper Series 2000:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  15. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Miles S. Kimball, 2004. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," Working Paper Series WP-04-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  16. Johansen, Soren, 1991. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing of Cointegration Vectors in Gaussian Vector Autoregressive Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1551-80, November.
  17. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1997. "Aggregate productivity and aggregate technology," International Finance Discussion Papers 593, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  19. Jon Faust & Eric M. Leeper, 1994. "When do long-run identifying restrictions give reliable results?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 94-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  20. John H. Rogers, 1998. "Monetary shocks and real exchange rates," International Finance Discussion Papers 612, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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