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Sensitivity of Impulse Responses to Small Low Frequency Co-Movements : Reconciling the Evidence on the Effects of Technology Shocks

  • GOSPODINOV, Nikolay
  • MAYNARD, Alex
  • PESAVENTO, Elena

This paper clarifies the empirical source of the debate on the effect of technology shocks on hours worked. We find that the contrasting conclusions from levels and differenced VAR specifications can be explained by a small, but important, low frequency co-movement between hours worked and labour productivity growth, which is allowed for in the levels specification but is implicitly set to zero in the differenced VAR. Our theoretical analysis shows that, even when the root of hours is very close to one and the low frequency co-movement is quite small, assuming away or explicitly removing the low frequency component can have large implications for the long-run identifying restrictions, giving rise to biases large enough to account for the empirical difference between the two specifications.

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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 03-2009.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:03-2009
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  1. Galí, Jordi, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Barbara Rossi (Duke) & Elena Pesavento (Emory), 2004. "Small sample confidence intervals for multivariate impulse response functions at long horizons," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 364, Econometric Society.
  3. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Ramey, Valerie A & Francis, Neville, 2002. "Is The Technology-Driven Real Business Cycle Hypothesis Dead? Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations Revisted," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt6x80k3nx, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  5. Elena Pesavento & Barbara Rossi, 2003. "Do Technology Shocks Drive Hours Up or Down? A Little Evidence from an Agnostic Procedure," Emory Economics 0326, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  6. Federico Ravenna, 2006. "Vector autoregressions and reduced form representations of DSGE models," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0619, Banco de Espa�a.
  7. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2007. "Are structural VARs with long-run restrictions useful in developing business cycle theory?," Staff Report 364, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Neville Francis & Michael T. Owyang & Jennifer E. Roush & Riccardo DiCecio, 2010. "A flexible finite-horizon alternative to long-run restrictions with an application to technology shock," Working Papers 2005-024, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  9. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2004. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," Working Paper Series WP-04-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. John Shea, 1999. "What Do Technology Shocks Do?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 275-322 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2010. "Read All About it!! What happens following a technology shock?," Working Papers tecipa-391, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2007. "Assessing Structural VARs," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 1-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Neville Francis & Michael T. Owyang & Athena T. Theodorou, 2003. "The use of long-run restrictions for the identification of technology shocks," Working Papers 2003-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  14. Harald Uhlig, 2004. "Do Technology Shocks Lead to a Fall in Total Hours Worked?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 361-371, 04/05.
  15. Fernald, John G., 2007. "Trend breaks, long-run restrictions, and contractionary technology improvements," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2467-2485, November.
  16. Yongsung Chang & Jay H. Hong, 2005. "Do technological improvements in the manufacturing sector raise or lower employment?," Working Papers 05-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  17. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jordi Gali & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBS Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," NBER Working Papers 10636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Galí, Jordi & Rabanal, Pau, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Post-War US Data?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4522, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Gospodinov, Nikolay, 2010. "Inference in Nearly Nonstationary SVAR Models With Long-Run Identifying Restrictions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(1), pages 1-12.
  21. Chang, Yongsung & Hornstein, Andreas & Sarte, Pierre-Daniel, 2009. "On the employment effects of productivity shocks: The role of inventories, demand elasticity, and sticky prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 328-343, April.
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