IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Interpreting the Hours-Technology time-varying relationship

  • Cristiano Cantore


  • Filippo Ferroni


  • Miguel A León-Ledesma


We investigate the time variation in the correlation between hours and technology shocks using a structural business cycle model. We propose an RBC model with a Constant Elasticity of Substitution (CES) production function that allows for capital- and labor-augmenting technology shocks. We estimate the model using US data with Bayesian techniques. In the full sample, we find (i) evidence in favor of a less than unitary elasticity of substitution (rejecting Cobb-Douglas) and (ii) a sizable role for capital augmenting shock for business cycles fluctuations. In rolling sub-samples, we document that the impact of technology shocks on hours worked varies over time and switches from negative to positive towards the end of the sample. We argue that this change is due to the increase in the elasticity of factor substitution. That is, labor and capital became less complementary throughout the sample inducing a change in the sign and size of the the response of hours. We conjecture that this change may have been induced by a change in the skill composition of the labor input.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 1201.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:1201
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 827497
Web page:

Order Information: Email:

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.:

as in new window
  1. Cristiano Cantore & Miguel León-Ledesma & Peter McAdam & Alpo Willman, 2014. "Shocking Stuff: Technology, Hours, And Factor Substitution," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 108-128, 02.
  2. Fabio Canova and Filippo Ferroni, . "The Dynamics of US Inflation: Can Monetary Policy Explain the Changes?," Working Papers 471, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2010. "The Vanishing Procyclicality of Labor Productivity," Kiel Working Papers 1641, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Timothy Cogley & Thomas Sargent, . "Drifts and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII US," Working Papers 2133503, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  5. José-Víctor Ríos-Rull & Frank Schorfheide & Cristina Fuentes-Albero & Maxym Kryshko & Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis, 2009. "Methods versus Substance: Measuring the Effects of Technology Shocks on Hours," NBER Working Papers 15375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Vasco Carvalho & Xavier Gabaix, 2010. "The great diversification and its undoing," Economics Working Papers 1208, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2010.
  7. Daron Acemoglu, 2001. "Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 8287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Yongsung Chang & Taeyoung Doh & Frank Schorfheide, 2006. "Non-stationary hours in a DSGE model," Working Papers 06-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  10. Balleer, Almut & van Rens, Thijs, 2009. "Cyclical Skill-Biased Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 4258, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Miyagiwa, Kaz & Papageorgiou, Chris, 2007. "Endogenous aggregate elasticity of substitution," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 2899-2919, September.
  12. Jordi Galí & David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2000. "Technology Shocks and Monetary policy: Assessing the Fed's Performance," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0013, Banco de Espa�a.
  13. Kahn, James A. & Rich, Robert W., 2007. "Tracking the new economy: Using growth theory to detect changes in trend productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1670-1701, September.
  14. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1997. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Research Paper 9735, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  15. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2011. "Capital-Labor Substitution, Structural Change and Growth," Cahiers de recherche 12-2011, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  16. Canova, Fabio & Gambetti, Luca, 2009. "Structural changes in the US economy: Is there a role for monetary policy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 477-490, February.
  17. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  18. Bruce E. Hansen, 2001. "The New Econometrics of Structural Change: Dating Breaks in U.S. Labour Productivity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 117-128, Fall.
  19. Jordi Galí & Luca Gambetti, 2006. "On the sources of the Great Moderation," Economics Working Papers 1041, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2007.
  20. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2009. "Volatility Accounting: A Production Perspective on Increased Economic Stability," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 671-696, 06.
  21. John F. Geweke, 1998. "Using simulation methods for Bayesian econometric models: inference, development, and communication," Staff Report 249, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  22. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," NBER Working Papers 5956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  24. John Geweke, 1999. "Using Simulation Methods for Bayesian Econometric Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 832, Society for Computational Economics.
  25. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1974. "The Elasticity of Substitution and Cyclical Behavior of Productivity, Wages, and Labor's Share," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 257-63, May.
  26. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  27. León-Ledesma, Miguel A. & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2009. "Identifying the elasticity of substitution with biased technical change," Working Paper Series 1001, European Central Bank.
  28. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2007. "Are structural VARs with long-run restrictions useful in developing business cycle theory?," Staff Report 364, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  29. Fabio Canova & David Lopez-Salido & Claudio Michelacci, 2010. "The effects of technology shocks on hours and output: a robustness analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(5), pages 755-773.
  30. Chirinko, Robert S., 2008. "[sigma]: The long and short of it," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 671-686, June.
  31. Francesco Nucci & Marianna Riggi, 2009. "The Great Moderation and Changes in the Structure of Labor Compensation," Working Papers 124, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  32. Fernald, John G., 2007. "Trend breaks, long-run restrictions, and contractionary technology improvements," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2467-2485, November.
  33. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  34. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2005. "Measures of Per Capita Hours and their Implications for the Technology-Hours Debate," NBER Working Papers 11694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Whelan, Karl, 2006. "Technology Shocks and Hours Worked: Checking for Robust Conclusions," MPRA Paper 5911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  36. John M. Roberts, 2001. "Estimates of the productivity trend using time-varying parameter techniques," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-08, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  37. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Violante, Giovanni L., 2001. "Deunionization, technical change and inequality," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 229-264, December.
  38. Chris Papageorgiou & Marianne Saam, . "Two-Level CES Production Technology in the Solow and Diamond Growth Models," Departmental Working Papers 2005-07, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  39. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
  40. Lutz Hendricks, 2010. "Cross-country variation in educational attainment: structural change or within-industry skill upgrading?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 205-233, September.
  41. Alessio Moro, 2009. "The structural transformation between manufacturing and services and the deline in the U.S. GDP volatility," Economics Working Papers we091409, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  42. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  43. Robert S. Chirinko, 2008. "ó: The Long And Short Of It," CESifo Working Paper Series 2234, CESifo Group Munich.
  44. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2005. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the Real Business Cycle Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 225-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:1201. 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: (Tracey Girling)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.