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Goodwin cycles and the U.S. economy, 1948-2004

Mohun, Simon and Veneziani, Roberto (2006): Goodwin cycles and the U.S. economy, 1948-2004.

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Abstract

This paper provides empirical support for an interpretation of the Goodwin growth cycle as isolating the main forces underlying distributive conflict, but in a fragile symbiotic mechanism because of endogenous forces that modify the balance of class power. Goodwin cycles are the shorter run cycles that appear around a long run motion that is the product of structural change. The paper describes long run trends in the Goodwin variables in the US corporate economy from 1948 to 2004, which exhibit both a sharp break at the beginning of the 80s, and no long run cycles. Short run detrended Goodwin cycles are identified, which broadly coincide in period and timing with the NBER dating of (the troughs of) business cycles. The paper then divides the employed nonfarm private industry labour force into supervisory and nonsupervisory workers, and focuses on the latter. The same two conclusions apply.

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