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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexius, Annika & Carlsson, Mikael, 2001. "Measures of Technology and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Sweden and the U.S," Working Paper Series 174, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:fiefwp:0174

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lundborg, Per, 2005. "Wage Fairness, Growth and the Utilization of R&D Workers," Working Paper Series 206, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Lundborg, Per, 2005. "Wage Theories for the Swedish Labour Market," Working Paper Series 207, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Selén, Jan & Ståhlberg, Ann-Charlotte, 2004. "Wage and Compensation Inequality — How Different?," Working Paper Series 197, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Technology shocks; Production function approach; Structural VAR models;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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