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Why Did U.S. Market Hours Boom in the 1990s?

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  • Ellen McGrattan
  • Edward Prescott

Abstract

During the 1990s, market hours in the United States rose dramatically. The rise in hours occurred as gross domestic product (GDP) per hour was declining relative to its historical trend, an occurrence that makes this boom unique, at least for the postwar U.S. economy. We find that expensed plus sweat investment was large during this period and critical for understanding the movements in hours and productivity. Expensed investments are expenditures that increase future profits but, by national accounting rules, are treated as operating expenses rather than capital expenditures. Sweat investments are uncompensated hours in a business made with the expectation of realizing capital gains when the business goes public or is sold. Incorporating expensed and sweat equity into an otherwise standard business cycle model, we find that there was rapid technological progress during the 1990s, causing a boom in market hours and actual productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen McGrattan & Edward Prescott, 2006. "Why Did U.S. Market Hours Boom in the 1990s?," NBER Working Papers 12046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12046
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carol A. Corrado & Charles R. Hulten & Daniel E. Sichel, 2006. "Intangible Capital and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 11948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Chen, Kaiji & Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin, 2009. "A quantitative assessment of the decline in the U.S. current account," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1135-1147, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2009. "Intangible Capital And U.S. Economic Growth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 661-685, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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