Job separations, heterogeneity, and earnings inequality
Changes in the fraction of workers experiencing job separations can account for> most of the increase in earnings dispersion that occurred both between, as well as> within educational groups in the United States from the mid-1970s to the mid-> 1980s. This is not true of changes in average earnings losses following job separations.> A search model with exogenous human capital accumulation calibrated> to match some selected moments of the U.S. labor market is used to measure the> effects of changes in the fraction of workers experiencing job separations (extensive> margin) versus changes in ...
The cyclical behavior of equilibrium unemployment and vacancies across OECD countries
We show that the inability of a standardly-calibrated stochastic labor search-and-matching model to account for the observed volatility of unemployment and vacancies extends beyond U.S. data to a set of OECD countries. We also argue that using cross-country data is helpful in evaluating the relative merits of the alternatives that have appeared in the literature. In illustrating this point, we take the solution proposed in Hagedorn and Manovskii (2008) and show that its ability to match the labor market volatility magnitudes seen in the data depends crucially on how persistent the estimated ...
The implications of capital-skill complementarity in economies with large informal sectors
In most developing nations, formal workers tend to be more experienced, more educated, and earn more than informal workers. These facts are often interpreted as evidence that low-skill workers face barriers to entry into the formal sector. Yet, there exists little direct evidence that such barriers are important. This paper describes a model where significant differences arise between formal and informal workers even though labor markets are perfectly competitive. In equilibrium, the informal sector emphasizes low-skill work because informal managers have access to less outside financing, and ...
A New Perspective on the Finance-Development Nexus
The existing literature on financial development focuses mostly on the causal impact of the quantity of financial intermediation on economic development. This paper, instead, focuses on the role of the financial sector in creating securities that cater to the needs of heterogeneous investors. To that end, we describe a dynamic extension of Allen and Gale (1989)?s optimal security design model in which producers can tranche the stochastic cash flows they generate at a cost. Lower tranching costs in that environment lead to capital deepening and raise aggregate output. The implications of lower ...
Monetary policy tightening and long-term interest rates
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has maintained an accommodative monetary policy ever since the 2007 recession, and some financial market participants are concerned that long-term interest rates may increase more than should be expected when the Committee starts to tighten. But a look at five historical episodes of monetary policy tightening suggests that such an outcome is more likely when markets are surprised by policy actions or economic developments. Given the Fed?s new policy tools, especially its evolution toward more transparent communications, the odds of a surprise are far ...
Technology shocks and unemployment in the last recession
In the latest recession, unemployment rates in the United States increased at a faster pace than in the average OECD country. Since the unemployment rate has been more sensitive to technological shocks in the United States in the past than in other OECD countries, I investigated whether increased sensitivity to such shocks was the reason for the recent relative increase in the U.S. unemployment rate. I find this was not the case.
Credit flows to businesses during the Great Recession
During the last recession, credit flows suffered their worst slowdown since World War II. A look at selected credit market measures gives some insight into why the slowdown was so severe. The measures also show that in spite of the size of the shock, credit flows actually recovered extremely quickly?a testament to the depth of the credit markets, and possibly the interventions that were taken to support them.
Financial Engineering and Economic Development
The vast literature on financial development focuses mostly on the causal impact of the quantity of financial intermediation on economic development and productivity. This paper, instead, focuses on the role of the financial sector in creating securities that cater to the needs of heterogeneous investors. We describe a dynamic extension of Allen and Gale (1989)?s optimal security design model in which producers can tranche the stochastic cash flows they generate at a cost. Lowering security creation costs in that environment leads to more financial investment, but it has ambiguous effects on ...
Monetary Policy and Inequality
This Commentary examines the link between monetary policy and income and wealth inequality by reviewing the theoretical channels that have been proposed and examining the empirical evidence on their importance. The analysis suggests that the magnitude of any redistributive consequences of conventional monetary policy seems to be small. Evidence that unconventional monetary policies have led to increases in inequality is still inconclusive.
Trade, Relative Prices, and the Canadian Great Depression
Canadian GNP per capita fell by roughly a third between 1928 and 1933. Although the decline and the slow recovery of GNP resemble the American Great Depression, trade was more important in Canada, as exports and imports each accounted for roughly a quarter of Canadian GNP in 1928. The fall in the trade share of GNP of roughly 30 percent between 1928 and 1933 was accompanied by a decline of over 20 percent in the relative prices of exports and imports relative to nontraded goods. We develop a three-sector small open economy model, where wages in the nontraded and import competing sectors ...