Working Paper

Bad Jobs and Low Inflation


Abstract: We study a model in which firms compete to retain and attract workers searching on the job. A drop in the rate of on-the-job search makes such wage competition less likely, reducing expected labor costs and lowering inflation. This model explains why inflation has remained subdued over the last decade, which is a conundrum for general equilibrium models and Phillips curves. Key to this success is the observed slowdown in the recovery of the employment-to-employment transition rate in the last five years, which is interpreted by the model as a decline in the share of employed workers searching for a job. This fall in the on-the-job search rate is corroborated by the micro data.

Keywords: misallocation; cyclical; labor market slack; Inflation; job ladder; Phillips curve;

JEL Classification: C78; E24; E31;

https://doi.org/10.21033/wp-2020-09

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Part of Series: Working Paper Series

Publication Date: 2020-03-02

Number: WP 2020-09

Pages: 54