Creative destruction and aggregate productivity growth
Productivity growth is the engine of economic growth and is responsible for rising standards of living. But all firms do not partake equally in the nation's productivity growth. Rather, according to economist Joseph Schumpeter's theory, firms undergo a process of "creative destruction": New firms that adapt to new knowledge cause the decline and eventual demise of incumbent firms. In "Creative Destruction and Aggregate Productivity Growth," Shigeru Fujita surveys recent studies that examine the role of creative destruction in aggregate productivity growth.
Economic effects of the unemployment insurance benefit
The U.S. labor market has remained weak in recent years, even though the overall economy itself has started to grow again after the deep recession. In response to the weak labor market conditions, the U.S. government has greatly expanded the entitlement period of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. In ?Economic Effects of the Unemployment Insurance Benefit,? Shigeru Fujita reviews some of the academic literature on the economic effects of UI benefits. On the one hand, UI can improve people?s well being because it helps them avoid a large drop in consumption in the face of job losses when ...
Earnings losses of job losers during the 2001 economic downturn
Job losses may involve not only lost earnings during unemployment but also declines in earnings at subsequent jobs. After a time consuming job search, workers may need to restart their careers from scratch, accepting a lower wage. Workers may also need time to acquire new skills, and total earnings lost during such a period of re-adjustment can be considerable. But experiences may vary widely. In this article, using a novel data set, Shigeru Fujita and Vilas Rao provide evidence on earnings losses after unemployment. Although the usefulness of the evidence is limited by the short sample ...
What do worker flows tell us about cyclical fluctuations in employment?
Many official surveys give us important information about labor markets and unemployment, as well as other statistics. However, these surveys reveal only the net gains or losses in employment over a given period. Consequently, how many gross hires and separations lie behind the net changes is missing from these statistical releases. Data on gross flows turn up additional valuable information. In ?What Do Worker Flows Tell Us About Cyclical Fluctuations in Employment?,? Shigeru Fujita uses such data to examine cyclical changes in the pace of the worker reallocation process and its effects on ...
Labor market anxiety and the downward trend in the job separation rate
Anecdotal evidence suggests that labor market conditions surrounding American workers had been worsening in recent decades, even before the severe recession in 2007-2009. However, studies by academic researchers have not found clear evidence that worker turnover has increased over time. In this article, Shigeru Fujita shows that there is a long-run downward trend in the separation rate into unemployment and examines several factors that help account for this long-run decline. He argues that the aging of the labor force has played an important role in the trend. He also explains, using an ...
A closer look at the German labor market 'miracle'
Compared with the steep, persistent increase in unemployment that the Great Recession triggered in the United States, its effect on unemployment in Germany was surprisingly mild. While U.S. unemployment soared from 4.8 percent to 9.5 percent between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2010, the German unemployment rate actually fell from 7.6 percent to 6.4 percent over the same period (Figure 1).1 The marked contrast may make one wonder whether the magnitude of the recession itself was smaller in Germany. Actually, the severity of the recession as measured by the drop in ...
On the causes of declines in the labor force participation rate
The unemployment rate stood at 5.0 percent when the Great Recession started in December 2007 but had more than doubled toward the end of 2009, peaking at 10 percent. Since then, however, it has steadily declined. As of the end of 2013, the jobless rate stood at 6.7 percent. While it is still high by historical standards, significant progress has been made. Moreover, the declines were often faster than many had predicted.
DECLINING TRENDS IN THE REAL INTEREST RATE AND INFLATION: THE ROLE OF AGING
This paper explores a causal link between aging of the labor force and declining trends in the real interest rate and inflation in Japan. We develop a New Keynesian search/matching model that features heterogeneities in age and firm-specific skills. Using the model, we examine the long-run implications of the sharp drop in labor force entry in the 1970s. We show that the changes in the demographic structure induce significant low-frequency movements in per-capita consumption growth and the real interest rate. They also lead to similar movements in the inflation rate when the monetary policy ...
Declining Labor Turnover and Turbulence
(supersedes WP 15-29)The rate of job loss has been on a secular decline for the last four decades or longer. Changes in demographics or industry composition do not account for the trend. This paper seeks to identify possible sources of this decline using a simple labor matching model with two types of workers, experienced and inexperienced, where the former type faces a risk of skill loss during unemployment. When the skill loss occurs, the worker is required to restart his career and thus suffers a drop in his wage. I show that a higher risk of skill loss results in a lower job separation ...
Reassessing the Shimer facts
In a recent influential paper, Shimer uses CPS duration and gross flow data to draw two conclusions: (1) separation rates are nearly acyclic; and (2) separation rates contribute little to the variability of unemployment. In this paper the authors assert that Shimer's analysis is problematic, for two reasons: (1) cyclicality is not evaluated systematically; and (2) the measured contributions to unemployment variability do not actually decompose total unemployment variability. The authors address these problems by applying a standard statistical measure of business cycle comovement, and ...