This article proposes a method to identify technology and nontechnology shocks that permanently affect labor productivity and applies this method to data for the G7 countries. In most cases, whereas technology improvements have negative or weak effects on hours worked, positive permanent nontechnology shocks are expansionary. Permanent nontechnology shocks play an important role in business cycles, particularly in the United States and Japan, and account for 71% of a large reduction in Japan's detrended output from 1991 to 2002. Credit conditions are likely to be an important driver of variations in permanent nontechnology shocks.