Is Theory Really Ahead of Measurement? Current Real Business Cycle Theories and Aggregate Labor Market Fluctuations
In the l93Os, Dunlop and Tarshis observed that the correlation between hours and wages is close to zero. This classic observation has become a litmus test by which macroeconomic models are judged. Existing real business cycle models fail this test dramatically. Based on this result, we argue that technology shocks cannot be the sole impulse driving post-war U.S. business cycles. We modify prototypical real business cycle models by allowing government spending shocks to influence labor market dynamics in a way suggested by Aschauer (1985), Barro (1981, 1987) and Kormendi (1983), This modification can, in principle, bring the models into closer conformity with the data. While the empirical performance of the models is significantly improved, they still fail to account for the Dunlop-Tarshis observation. Accounting for that observation will require further advances in model development. Consequently, we conclude that theory is behind, not ahead of, business cycle measurement.
|Date of creation:||Sep 1988|
|Publication status:||published as American Economic Review Vol. 82, No. 3, pp. 430-450 June 1992|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary Hansen, 2010.
"Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
233, David K. Levine.
- Gary D. Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1987.
"Straight Time and Overtime in Equilibrium,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
455, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Barro, Robert J, 1981.
"Output Effects of Government Purchases,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1086-1121, December.
- Bils, Mark J, 1985. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 666-689, August.
- Martin S. Eichenbaum & Lars Peter Hansen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1988.
"A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption and Leisure Choice Under Uncertainty,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 51-78.
- Martin S. Eichenbaum & Lars Peter Hansen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1986. "A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption andLeisure Choice Under Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 1981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
- Modigliani, Franco, 1977.
"The Monetarist Controversy or, Should We Forsake Stabilization Policies?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 1-19, March.
- Franco Modigliani, 1977. "The monetarist controversy; or, should we forsake stabilization policies?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Spr suppl, pages 27-46.
- Lawrence J. Christiano, 1987.
"Is consumption insufficiently sensitive to innovations in income?,"
106, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Christiano, Lawrence J, 1987. "Is Consumption Insufficiently Sensitive to Innovations in Income?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 337-341, May.
- Robert J. Barro & Robert G. King, 1984.
"Time-Separable Preferences and Intertemporal-Substitution Models of Business Cycles,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 817-839.
- Robert J. Barro & Robert G. King, 1982. "Time-Separable Preference and Intertemporal-Substitution Models of Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 0888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
- Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
- Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1970. "Capacity, Overtime, and Empirical Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 23-27, May.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982.
"Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
- Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1982. "Web interface for "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations"," QM&RBC Codes 4a, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1982. "Executable program for "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations"," QM&RBC Codes 4, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Fischer, Stanley, 1988. "Recent Developments in Macroeconomics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 294-339, June.
- Rogerson, Richard, 1988.
"Indivisible labor, lotteries and equilibrium,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 3-16, January.
- Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
- Taylor, John B, 1980.
"Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
- Kydland, Finn E. & Prescott, Edward C., 1988. "The workweek of capital and its cyclical implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 343-360.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2700. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.