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Measures of Technology and the Business Cycle

  • Alexius, Annika

    (Department of Economics)

  • Carlsson, Mikael

    (Department of Economics)

Empirical evidence on the relationship between technology shocks and e.g. hours worked hinges crucially on the identification of the unobservable technological progress. 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 are robust across the approaches. Several versions of the productions function approach and structural VAR models are investigated. Our main finding is that the different technology measures are highly correlated. However, the exact formulation of the identifying restrictions seems to matter for the results. While we replicate the standard finding of a strongly procyclical Solow residual, all other measures of technology are either acyclical or countercyclical.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2002:10.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 07 May 2002
Date of revision: 02 Mar 2006
Publication status: Published in Review of Economics and Statistics, 2005, pages 299-307.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2002_010
Note: Revised version of the second half of the paper.
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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  1. John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 1999. "Why is productivity procyclical? Why do we care?," International Finance Discussion Papers 638, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nelson, Charles R & Startz, Richard, 1990. "The Distribution of the Instrumental Variables Estimator and Its t-Ratio When the Instrument Is a Poor One," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages S125-40, January.
  4. 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.
  5. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2004. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," Working Paper Series WP-04-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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  7. 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.
  8. Matthew Shapiro & Mark Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycles Fluctuations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 111-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Warne, A., 1993. "A Common Trends Model: Identification, Estimation and Inference," Papers 555, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  10. Robert G. King & Charles I. Plosser & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1987. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Danny Quah & Shaun Vahey, 1995. "Measuring Core Inflation," Bank of England working papers 31, Bank of England.
  15. Francis, Neville & Ramey, Valerie A., 2005. "Is the technology-driven real business cycle hypothesis dead? Shocks and aggregate fluctuations revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1379-1399, November.
  16. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
  17. 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.
  18. Alexius, Annika, 1999. "Sources of Real Exchange Rate Fluctuations in the Nordic Countries," Working Paper Series 90, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
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