The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The paper asks how state of the art DSGE models that account for the conditional response of hours following a positive neutral technology shock compare in a marginal likelihood race. To that end we construct and estimate several competing small-scale DSGE models that extend the standard real business cycle model. In particular, we identify from the literature six different hypotheses that generate the empirically observed decline in worked hours after a positive technology shock. These models alternatively exhibit (i) sticky prices; (ii) firm entry and exit with time to build; (iii) habit in consumption and costly adjustment of investment; (iv) persistence in the permanent technology shocks; (v) labor market friction with procyclical hiring costs; and (vi) Leontief production function with labor-saving technology shocks. In terms of model posterior probabilities, impulse responses, and autocorrelations, the model favored is the one that exhibits habit formation in consumption and investment adjustment costs. A robustness test shows that the sticky price model becomes as competitive as the habit formation and costly adjustment of investment model when sticky wages are included.