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Product Prices and the OECD Cycle

  • Jaume Ventura

It is well known that business cycles in OECD countries exhibit a remarkable degree of synchronization. Much less known is that the peak of the OECD cycle is associated with high prices of labour-intensive products and low prices of capital-intensive ones. We document this cyclical behaviour of product prices and argue that it offers an important clue as to why business cycles are so synchronized. Positive shocks in one or more countries raise the prices of labour-intensive products and, as a result, the demand for labour throughout the industrialized world. This generates increases in wages, employment and output in all industrial countries. Through this channel, shocks are positively transmitted across countries, creating a force towards the synchronization of business cycles.

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Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 99-01.

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Date of creation: Jan 1999
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Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:99-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
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Web page: http://econ-www.mit.edu/

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  1. Aart Kray & Jaume Ventura, 2001. "Comparative advantage and the cross-section of business cycles," Economics Working Papers 845, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  3. Aart Kraay & Jaume Ventura, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and the Cross-section of Business Cycles," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1300-1333, December.
  4. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "International Business Cycles: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 93-21, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
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