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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. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2004. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," NBER Working Papers 10592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Carlsson, M., 2000. "Measures of Technology and the Short-Run Responses to Technology Shocks - Is the RBC-Model Consistent with Swedish Manufacturing Data?," Papers 2000:20, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  3. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2000. "Why is productivity procyclical? Why do we care?," Working Paper Series WP-00-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Dynamic General Equilibrium Models with Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets," NBER Working Papers 4502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.).
  7. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 1995. "Are apparent productive spillovers a figment of specification error?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 165-188, August.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Gert Wehinger, 2000. "Causes of Inflation in Europe, the United States and Japan: Some Lessons for Maintaining Price Stability in the EMU from a Structural VAR Approach," Empirica, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 83-107, March.
  12. 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.
  13. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
  14. Dolado, Juan J. & Jimeno, Juan F., 1997. "The causes of Spanish unemployment: A structural VAR approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1281-1307, July.
  15. Faust, Jon & Leeper, Eric M, 1997. "When Do Long-Run Identifying Restrictions Give Reliable Results?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 345-53, July.
  16. Rogers, John H., 1999. "Monetary shocks and real exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 269-288, December.
  17. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Warne, A., 1993. "A Common Trends Model: Identification, Estimation and Inference," Papers 555, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  21. Trejo, Stephen J, 1993. "Overtime Pay, Overtime Hours, and Labor Unions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(2), pages 253-78, April.
  22. Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2001. "The effects of working time reductions on wages, actual hours and equilibrium unemployment," Working Paper Series 2001:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  23. Stockman, Alan C., 1994. "Sources of real exchange-rate fluctuations: A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 57-65, December.
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