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The empirical relevance of Goodwin’s business cycle model for the US economy

Tarassow, Artur (2010): The empirical relevance of Goodwin’s business cycle model for the US economy.

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Abstract

The paper attempts to verify Richard Goodwin's (1967) endogenous business cycle theory which states that the driving forces behind fluctuations are class struggles between capitalists and workers about income distribution. Based on a Marxian profit-led model, non-linear differential equations lead to endogenous cycles in the wage-share-employment-space which can be observed empirically. Applying a bivariate vector autoregressive model we analyze the relationship between real unit labor costs and the employment rate for the US economy over a period from 1948:1 to 2006:4. Granger-causality tests, orthogonalized impulse response functions and forecast error variance decomposition are conducted for the raw data as well as the cyclical components of the Hodrick-Prescott and Baxter-King filter methods. We verify the profit-led character of the US goods market and find that income distribution is driven by labor market dynamics.

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