The Disappointing Recovery in U.S. Output after 2009
U.S. output has expanded only slowly since the recession trough in 2009, counter to normal expectations of a rapid cyclical recovery. Removing cyclical effects reveals that the deep recession was superimposed on a sharply slowing trend in underlying growth. The slowing trend reflects two factors: slow growth of innovation and declining labor force participation. Both of these powerful adverse forces were in place before the recession and, thus, were not the result of the financial crisis or policy changes since 2009.
Measuring Job-Finding Rates and Matching Efficiency with Heterogeneous Jobseekers
Matching efficiency is the productivity of the process for matching jobseekers to available jobs. Job-finding is the output; vacant jobs and active jobseekers are the inputs. Measurement of matching efficiency follows the same principles as measuring a Hicks-neutral index of productivity of production. We develop a framework for measuring matching productivity when the population of jobseekers is heterogeneous. The efficiency index for each type of jobseeker is the monthly job-finding rate for the type adjusted for the overall tightness of the labor market. We find that overall matching ...
Monetary policy in the information economy : commentary
Dynamics of corporate earnings
Earnings are the flow of value created by corporations. I concentrate on the concept called EBITDA-earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. This measure captures the results of the substantive non-financial activities of corporations and corresponds to the rental price of capital multiplied by the quantity of capital. I measure earnings per dollar of capital for all U.S. corporations and at the level of 35 U.S. industries. I develop a competitive benchmark for the level of earnings, which takes account of adjustment costs, taxes, depreciation, and the financial ...
Job-Finding and Job-Losing: A Comprehensive Model of Heterogeneous Individual Labor-Market Dynamics
We track the path that a worker follows after losing a job. Initially, the typical job-loser spends some time out of the labor force and in job search. Only a month or two later, in normal times, the worker lands a job. But the job is frequently brief. Over the next few months, the worker finds a good match that becomes a long-term job. Short-term jobs tend to precede long-term ones. Short-term employment shares some of the characteristics of unemployment and some of the characteristics of employment. We show that this pattern of moving among working, searching for a job, and being out of the ...
The routes into and out of the zero lower bound
The value of life and the rise in health spending
Health care extends life. Over the past half century, Americans spent a rising share of total economic resources on health and enjoyed substantially longer lives as a result. Debate on health policy often focuses on limiting the growth of health spending. We investigate an issue central to this debate: Is the growth of health spending the rational response to changing economic conditions - notably the growth of income per person? We develop a model based on standard economic assumptions and argue that this is indeed the case. Standard preferences - of the kind used widely in economics to ...
The labor market and macro volatility: a nonstationary general-equilibrium analysis
The evolution of the aggregate labor market is far from smooth. I investigate the success of a macro model in replicating the observed levels of volatility of unemployment and other key variables. I take variations in productivity growth and in exogenous product demand (government purchases plus net exports) as the primary exogenous sources of fluctuations. The macro model embodies new ideas about the labor market, all based on equilibrium?the models I consider do not rest on inefficiency in the use of labor caused by an inappropriate wage. I find that non-standard features of the labor ...
The stock market and capital accumulation
The value of a firm's securities measures the value of the firm's productive assets. If the assets include only capital goods and not a permanent monopoly franchise, the value of the securities measures the value of the capital. Finally, if the price of the capital can be measured or inferred, the quantity of the firm's capital is the value divided by the price. A standard model of adjustment costs enables the inference of the price of installed capital. I explore the implications of the proposition using data from U.S. non-farm, non-financial corporations over the past 50 years. The data ...
Cyclical movements along the labor supply function
A consensus in macroeconomics holds that the observed higher-frequency movements in employment and hours of work are movements along a labor-supply function caused by shifts of the labor demand function. Recent theoretical thinking has extended this view to include fluctuations in unemployment, so that macroeconomists can speak coherently of movements along an unemployment function caused by shifts in labor demand.