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Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations

  • Beaudry, Paul
  • Portier, Franck

A common view in macroeconomics is that business cycles can be meaningfully decomposed into fluctuations driven by demand shocks - which are shocks that have no short- or long-run effects on productivity - and fluctuations driven by unexpected changes in technology. In this Paper we propose a means of evaluating this view and we show that it is strongly at odds with the data. In contrast, we show that the data favours a view of business cycles driven primarily by a shock that does not affect productivity in the short run - therefore it looks like a demand shock - but affects productivity in the long run. The structural interpretation we suggest for this shock is that it represents news about future technological opportunities. We show that this shock explains about 50% of business cycle fluctuations and therefore deserves to be acknowledged and further understood by macroeconomists.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 158.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:580
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  1. Gali, J., 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," Working Papers 96-28, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1985. "An Unbiased Reexamination of Stock Market Volatility," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 758, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 1998. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," International Finance Discussion Papers 625, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. 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.
  5. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," NBER Working Papers 0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2004. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 10548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
  8. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Schwert, G William, 1990. " Stock Returns and Real Activity: A Century of Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1237-57, September.
  10. Nyblom, Jukka & Harvey, Andrew, 1999. "Tests of Common Stochastic Trends," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9902, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  11. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2002. "Speculative Growth," NBER Working Papers 9381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy and sunspots in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 387-448 Elsevier.
  13. Boyan Jovanovic & Jeremy Greenwood, 1999. "The Information-Technology Revolution and the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 116-122, May.
  14. Fama, Eugene F, 1990. " Stock Returns, Expected Returns, and Real Activity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1089-1108, September.
  15. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  16. Pakes, Ariel, 1985. "On Patents, R & D, and the Stock Market Rate of Return," Scholarly Articles 3436409, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Randall Morck & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Stock Market and Investment: Is the Market a Sideshow?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 157-216.
  18. Lawrence J. Christiano & Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2003. "Stock Market and Investment Goods Prices: Implications for Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 10031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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