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Productivity and U.S. Macroeconomic Performance: Interpreting the Past and Predicting the Future with a Two-Sector Real Business Cycle Model

  • Peter N. Ireland
  • Scott Schuh

A two-sector real business cycle model, estimated with postwar U.S. data, identifies shocks to the levels and growth rates of total factor productivity in distinct consumption- and investment-goods-producing technologies. This model attributes most of the productivity slowdown of the 1970s to the consumption-goods sector; it suggests that a slowdown in the investment-goods sector occurred later and was much less persistent. Against this broader backdrop, the model interprets the more recent episode of robust investment and investment-specific technological change during the 1990s largely as a catch-up in levels that is unlikely to persist or be repeated anytime soon.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13532.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Publication status: published as Peter Ireland & Scott Schuh, 2008. "Productivity and U.S. Macroeconomic Performance: Interpreting the Past and Predicting the Future with a Two-Sector Real Business Cycle Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 473-492, July.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13532
Note: ME EFG
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