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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
Note: EFG
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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jordi Gali, 1999. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 249-271, March.
  3. Christopher Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Gust, 2004. "Can long-run restrictions identify technology shocks?," International Finance Discussion Papers 792, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2002. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1986, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Argia Sbordone, 2002. "An optimizing model of U.S. wage and price dynamics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  8. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2006. "The Source of Historical Economic Fluctuations: An Analysis Using Long-Run Restrictions," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004, pages 17-73 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. repec:ucn:oapubs:10197/226 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Whelan, Karl T., 2009. "Technology shocks and hours worked: Checking for robust conclusions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 231-239, June.
  16. 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.
  17. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1998. "Business Cycle Fluctuations in U.S. Macroeconomic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 6528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. repec:ucn:oapubs:10197/218 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2002. "Markups, gaps, and the welfare costs of business fluctuations," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0204, Banco de Espa�a.
  20. Athena T. Theodorou & Neville R. Francis & Michael T. Owyang, 2004. "What Explains the Varying Monetary Response to Technology SHocks in G7-Countries," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 444, Econometric Society.
  21. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000413, UCLA Department of Economics.
  22. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  23. 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.
  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. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Whelan, Karl, 2004. "New Evidence on Balanced Growth, Stochastic Trends, and Economic Fluctations," Research Technical Papers 7/RT/04, Central Bank of Ireland.
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