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Product Prices and the OECD Cycle

  • Aart Kraay
  • Jaume Ventura

It is well known that business cycles in OECD countries exhibit a remarkable degree of synchronization. Much less known is that the peak of the OECD cycle is associated with high prices of labour-intensive products and low prices of capital-intensive ones. We document this cyclical behavior of product prices and argue that it offers an important clue as to why business cycles are so synchronized. Positive shocks in one or more countries raise the prices of labour-intensive products and, as a result, the demand for labour throughout the industrialized world. This generates increases in wages, employment and output in all industrial countries. Through this channel, shocks are positively transmitted across countries, creating a force towards the synchronization of business cycles.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7788.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7788.

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Date of creation: Jul 2000
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Publication status: published as Kraay Aart & Ventura Jaume, 2002. "Product Prices and the OECD Cycle," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-18, April.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7788
Note: EFG
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  1. David Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1993. "International Business Cycles: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jaume Ventura, 1998. "Comparative Advantage and the Cross-Section of Business Cycles," Working papers 98-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  4. Aart Kraay & Jaume Ventura, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and the Cross-section of Business Cycles," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1300-1333, December.
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