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Trends in Hours, Balanced Growth, and the Role of Technology in the Business Cycle

  • Jordi Gali

The present paper revisits a property embedded in most dynamic macroeconomic models: the stationarity of hours worked. First, I argue that, contrary to what is often believed, there are many reasons why hours could be nonstationary in those models, while preserving the property of balanced growth. Second, I show that the postwar evidence for most industrialized economies is clearly at odds with the assumption of stationary hours per capita. Third, I examine the implications of that evidence for the role of technology as a source of economic fluctuations in the G7 countries.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11130.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11130.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Publication status: published as Gali, Jordi. "Trends In Hours, Balanced Growth, And The Role Of Technology In The Business Cycle," FRB St. Louis - Review, 2005, v87(4,Jul/Aug), 459-486.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11130
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  1. Karl Whelan, 2004. "Technology shocks and hours worked : checking for robust conclusions," Open Access publications 10197/226, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Whelan, Karl, 2004. "New Evidence on Balanced Growth, Stochastic Trends, and Economic Fluctations," Research Technical Papers 7/RT/04, Central Bank of Ireland.
  3. Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2004. "Can Long-Run Restrictions Identify Technology Shocks?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 3, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S223-50, January.
  5. 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.
  6. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, Jose David, 2002. "Markups, Gaps and the Welfare Costs of Business Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3212, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jul, pages 2-13.
  10. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Miles S. Kimball, 1998. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," International Finance Discussion Papers 625, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2005. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the Real Business Cycle Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 225-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2004. "The Source of Historical Economic Fluctuations: An Analysis using Long-Run Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 10631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  16. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  17. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Working Papers 1950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "An Optimizing Model of U.S. Wage and Price Dynamics," Departmental Working Papers 200110, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  19. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  20. Neville Francis & Michael T. Owyang & Athena T. Theodorou, 2005. "What explains the varying monetary response to technology shocks in G-7 countries?," Working Papers 2004-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  21. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Business cycle fluctuations in us macroeconomic time series," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 3-64 Elsevier.
  22. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  23. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  24. John Fernald, 2004. "Trend Breaks, Long Run Restrictions, and the Contractionary Effects of Technology Shocks," 2004 Meeting Papers 477, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  26. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2002. "Is the Technology-Driven Real Business Cycle Hypothesis Dead?," NBER Working Papers 8726, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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