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Author:Foote, Christopher L. 

Report
Population Aging and the US Labor Force Participation Rate

The labor force participation rate dropped sharply at the beginning of the pandemic, and as of November 2021 it had recovered only about half of its lost ground. The failure of the participation rate to get closer to its level immediately before the pandemic has puzzled many analysts. In this note, we show that the current participation rate is much less puzzling if one compares it with participation in November 2017 (the last time the unemployment rate was at its current level of 4.2 percent), rather than February 2020 (immediately before the pandemic). Since November 2017, population aging ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Working Paper
Labor market polarization over the business cycle

One of the most important long-run trends in the U.S. labor market is polarization, defined as the relative growth of employment in high-skill jobs (such as management and technical positions) and low-skill jobs (such as food-service and janitorial work) amid the concurrent decline in middle-skill jobs (such as clerical, construction, manufacturing, and retail occupations). Middle-skill job losses typically result from outsourcing labor to lower-wage countries or from substituting automated technologies for routine tasks. Economists are now beginning to study how long-run polarization might ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-16

Conference Paper
Labor supply in the new century

To explore the labor-supply trends that will affect economic policymaking in the twenty-first century, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston chose "Labor Supply in the New Century? as the theme for its 52nd Annual Economic Conference held in June 2007. The conference?s six papers and its keynote address by Eugene Steuerle provide a broad overview of the quantity and quality implications of labor-supply trends.
Conference Series ; [Proceedings] , Volume 52

Monograph
Labor supply in the new century

To explore the labor-supply trends that will affect economic policymaking in the twenty-first century, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston chose "Labor Supply in the New Century? as the theme for its 52nd Annual Economic Conference held in June 2007. The conference?s six papers and its keynote address by Eugene Steuerle provide a broad overview of the quantity and quality implications of labor-supply trends.
Monograph , Paper 52

Discussion Paper
Reasonable people did disagree : optimism and pessimism about the U.S. housing market before the crash

Understanding the evolution of real-time beliefs about house price appreciation is central to understanding the U.S. housing crisis. At the peak of the recent housing cycle, both borrowers and lenders appealed to optimistic house price forecasts to justify undertaking increasingly risky loans. Many observers have argued that these rosy forecasts ignored basic theoretical and empirical evidence that pointed to a massive overvaluation of housing and thus to an inevitable and severe price decline. We revisit the boom years and show that the economics profession provided little such ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 10-5

Working Paper
Space and time in macroeconomic panel data: young workers and state-level unemployment revisited

A provocative paper by Shimer (2001) finds that state-level youth shares and unemployment rates are negatively correlated, in contrast to conventional assumptions about demographic effects on labor markets. This paper updates Shimer's regressions and shows that this surprising correlation essentially disappears when the end of the sample period is extended from 1996 to 2005. This shift does not occur because of a change in the underlying economy during the past decade. Rather, the presence of a cross-sectional (that is, spatial) correlation in the state-level data sharply reduces the ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-10

Discussion Paper
Oil and the macroeconomy in a changing world: a conference summary

Analysis of oil-price movements is once again an important feature of economic policy discussions. To provide some background for this analysis, this paper summarizes a conference on the oil market held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in June 2010. Four cross-cutting themes emerged from this symposium, which included scientific experts, market participants, business leaders, academics, and policymakers. First, the decline in real oil prices that followed the 1970s' oil shocks is unlikely to be repeated today, because there are fewer ways in which oil-importing countries can reduce oil ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 11-3

Conference Paper
U. S. labor supply in the twenty-first century

The American labor force will be transformed as the twenty-first century unfolds, a change that will confront policymakers and business firms with new challenges and new opportunities. The impending slowdown of labor force growth that will accompany the retirement of the baby boom generation already is playing a central role in national debates over the future solvency of Social Security and Medicare, as well as U.S. immigration policies. But labor supply changes will be influenced by other dimensions as well. In the coming decades, American workers are likely to be, on average, older and ...
Conference Series ; [Proceedings] , Volume 52

Discussion Paper
Why did so many people make so many ex post bad decisions?: the causes of the foreclosure crisis

This paper presents 12 facts about the mortgage market. The authors argue that the facts refute the popular story that the crisis resulted from financial industry insiders deceiving uninformed mortgage borrowers and investors. Instead, they argue that borrowers and investors made decisions that were rational and logical given their ex post overly optimistic beliefs about house prices. The authors then show that neither institutional features of the mortgage market nor financial innovations are any more likely to explain those distorted beliefs than they are to explain the Dutch tulip bubble ...
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 12-2

Discussion Paper
Economic policy and prospects in Iraq

This paper describes the Coalition Provisional Authority?s attempts to stabilize and reform Iraq?s economy along market lines. It argues that while security concerns remain serious, Iraq?s economy has not been crippled by violence. However, sustained economic growth will depend on whether Iraq?s future leaders pursue the pro-market approaches the Coalition has advocated. If the Iraqi economy is to reach its potential, it will need to go even farther than the Coalition did, implementing reforms the Coalition did not pursue because of security concerns.
Public Policy Discussion Paper , Paper 04-1

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