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Technology Innovation and Diffusion as Sources of Output and Asset Price Fluctuations

  • Diego A. Comin
  • Mark Gertler
  • Ana Maria Santacreu

We develop a model in which innovations in an economy's growth potential are an important driving force of the business cycle. The framework shares the emphasis of the recent "new shock" literature on revisions of beliefs about the future as a source of fluctuations, but differs by tieing these beliefs to fundamentals of the evolution of the technology frontier. An important feature of the model is that the process of moving to the frontier involves costly technology adoption. In this way, news of improved growth potential has a positive effect on current hours. As we show, the model also has reasonable implications for stock prices. We estimate our model for data post-1984 and show that the innovations shock accounts for nearly a third of the variation in output at business cycle frequencies. The estimated model also accounts reasonably well for the large gyration in stock prices over this period. Finally, the endogenous adoption mechanism plays a significant role in amplifying other shocks.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15029.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15029
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  1. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "Can News about the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1097-1118, September.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1988. "The Dividend Ratio Model and Small Sample Bias: A Monte Carlo Study," NBER Technical Working Papers 0067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  6. John Maurice Clark, 1934. "Strategic Factors in Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clar34-1, July.
  7. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn & Emilie Rovito, 2008. "A new approach to measuring technology with an application to the shape of the diffusion curves," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 187-207, April.
  8. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2004. "An exploration into Pigou's theory of cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1183-1216, September.
  9. Diego Comin, 2009. "On the integration of growth and business cycles," Empirica, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 165-176, May.
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