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The Media is the Measure: Technical change and employment, 1909-1949

  • Jon Cohen

    (University of Toronto)

  • Michelle Alexopoulos

    (University of Toronto)

New indicators, based on technology titles, are used to measure the impact of innovative activity on the U.S. labor market between 1909 and 1949. We find positive technology shocks raised productivity, employment, vacancies and labor turnover and lowered unemployment. Moreover, innovations in automotive and electrical had a greater positive impact on employment than those in mechanical. The overall results, compatible with the predictions of the real business cycle model, raise questions about the anemic recovery in employment after 1934 since the strong upsurge in technical change failed to be accompanied by an equally vigorous expansion in jobs.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 301.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:301
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

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