Downward Nominal Wage Rigidities Bend the Phillips Curve
We show that the existence of downward nominal wage rigidities bends the short-run wage Phillips curve. We introduce a model of monetary policy with downward nominal wage rigidities and show that both the slope and curvature of the Phillips curve depend on the level of inflation and the extent of downward nominal wage rigidities. This is true for the both the long-run and the short-run Phillips curve. Comparing simulation results from the model with data on U.S. wage changes since the onset of the Great Recession, we show that downward nominal wage rigidities have likely played a role in ...
The Bay Area economy: down but not out
After being the quintessential darling of the nation's economy, the San Francisco Bay Area has been battered by the information technology (IT) downturn; nearly one in ten jobs in the Bay Area has disappeared since the peak of late 2000, and half of those were in the IT sector. This Economic Letter explores the sources of the boom and bust in the Bay Area and puts the region's recent contraction in the context of the U.S. and other regional IT centers. This Letter also compares the current episode of weakness in the Bay Area to the long and deep recession in the Los Angeles area in the early ...
A new look at the distributional effects of economic growth during the 1980s: a comparative study of the United States and Germany
Beginning in 1983, and following the worst recession since the Great Depression, the United States experienced six years of uninterrupted economic growth, the longest such period since World War II. Along with this expansion came an increase in income inequality that many suggest diminished the middle class and made the United States unique among industrialized nations in its pace of economic growth and increase in income equality. This paper addresses these issues by using kernel density estimation to document changes in the United States income distribution during the 1980s economic ...
Prospects for Inflation in a High Pressure Economy: Is the Phillips Curve Dead or is it just Hibernating?
Slides presented at the 2019 U.S. Monetary Policy Forum New York, New York, Mary C. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, February 22, 2019.
Persistence of Regional Inequality in China
Regional inequality in China appears to be persistent and even growing in the last two decades. We study potential explanations for this phenomenon. After making adjustments for the difference in the cost of living across provinces, we find that some of the inequality in real wages could be attributed to differences in quality of labor, industry composition, labor supply elasticities, and geographical location of provinces. These factors, taken together, explain about half of the cross-province real wage difference. Interestingly, we find that inter-province redistribution did not help offset ...
The Supplemental Security Income program
The Illusion of Wage Growth
Despite a sharp spike in unemployment since March 2020, aggregate wage growth has accelerated. This acceleration has been almost entirely attributable to job losses among low-wage workers. Wage growth for those who remain employed has been flat. This pattern is not unique to COVID-19 but is more profound now than in previous recessions. This means that, in the wake of the virus, evaluations of the labor market must rely on a dashboard of indicators, rather than any single measure, to paint a complete picture of the losses and the recovery.
Relative status and well-being: evidence from U.S. suicide deaths
This paper empirically assesses the theory of interpersonal income comparison using individual level data on suicide deaths in the United States. We model suicide as a choice variable, conditional on exogenous risk factors, reflecting an individual's assessment of current and expected future utility. Our empirical analysis considers whether suicide risk is systematically related to the income of others, holding own income and other individual factors fixed. We estimate proportional hazards and probit models of the suicide hazard using two separate and independent data sets: (1) the National ...
Lessons from History, Policy for Today
Today’s economic challenges are different from the past, and it’s important to learn from history to achieve a better economic future for everyone. As the economy recovers from the effects of COVID-19, the Fed’s new policy framework retains vigilance against inflation while committing to not pull back the reins on the economy in response to a strong labor market. The following is adapted from a virtual webinar by the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to the Economic Club of New York on March 2.
Life-cycle shocks and income
Unexpected events such as job displacement, disability, and divorce can have negative effects on individual and family income. For many families, social insurance provided by the government plays an important role in buffering the impact of these shocks. However, on average, Americans depend more on private resources rather than the public sector to insure against these losses.