Vintage capital as an origin of inequalities
Does capital-embodied technological change play an important role in shaping labor market inequalities? This paper addresses the question in a model with vintage capital and search / matching frictions where costly capital investment leads to large heterogeneity in productivity among vacancies in equilibrium. The paper first demonstrates analytically how both technology growth and institutional variables affect equilibrium wage inequality, income shares and unemployment. Next, it applies the model to a quantitative evaluation of capital as an origin of wage inequality: at the current rate of embodied productivity growth a 10-year vintage differential in capital translates into a 6% wage gap. The model also allows a U.S. ? continental Europe comparison: an embodied technological acceleration interacted with different labor market institutions can explain a significant part of the differential rise in unemployment and capital share and some of the differential dynamics in wage inequality.
AUTHORS: Hornstein, Andreas; Violante, Giovanni L.; Krusell, Per
Estimating Matching Efficiency with Variable Search Effort
We introduce a simple representation of endogenous search effort into the standard matching function with job-seeker heterogeneity. Using the estimated augmented matching function, we study the sources of changes in the average employment transition rate. In the standard matching function the contribution of market tightness (matching efficiency) is increasing (decreasing) in the matching function elasticity. For our augmented matching function search effort is pro-cyclical for small matching elasticity and accounts for most of the transition rate volatility, with small contributions from market tightness and matching efficiency. For a large matching elasticity search effort is strongly counter-cyclical and large movements in matching efficiency compensate for that. Regardless of the matching elasticity, we find a substantial decline of the matching efficiency after 2007.
AUTHORS: Kudlyak, Marianna; Hornstein, Andreas
Aggregate Labor Force Participation and Unemployment and Demographic Trends
We estimate trends in the labor force participation (LFP) and unemployment rates for demographic groups differentiated by age, gender, and education, using a parsimonious statistical model of age, cohort and cycle effects. Based on the group trends, we construct trends for the aggregate LFP and unemployment rate. Important drivers of the aggregate LFP rate trend are demographic factors, with increasing educational attainment being important throughout the sample and ageing of the population becoming more important since 2000, and changes of groups' trend LFP rates, e.g. for women prior to 2000. The aggregate unemployment rate trend on the other hand is almost exclusively driven by demographic factors, with about equal contributions from an older and more educated population. Extrapolating the estimated trends using Census Bureau population forecasts and our own forecasts for educational shares, we project that over the next 10 years the trend LFP rate will decline to 61.1% from its 2018 value of 62.7%, and the trend unemployment rate will decline to 4.3% from its 2018 value of 4.7%.
AUTHORS: Hornstein, Andreas; Kudlyak, Marianna
Generalized Matching Functions and Resource Utilization Indices for the Labor Market
In the U.S. labor market unemployed individuals that are actively looking for work are more than three times as likely to become employed as those individuals that are not actively looking for work and are considered to be out of the labor force (OLF). Yet, on average, every month twice as many people make the transition from OLF to employment than do from unemployment. Based on these observations we have argued in Hornstein, Kudlyak, and Lange (2014) for an alternative measure of resource utilization in the labor market, a non-employment index, which is more comprehensive than the standard unemployment rate. In this article we show how the NEI fits into recent extensions of the matching function which is a standard macroeconomic approach to model labor markets with frictions, how it affects estimates of the extent of labor market frictions, and how these frictions have changed in the Great Recession.
AUTHORS: Kudlyak, Marianna; Hornstein, Andreas
Aggregate Implications of Changing Sectoral Trends
We fi nd disparate trend variation in TFP and labor growth across major U.S. production sectors over the post-WWII period. When aggregated, these sector-specif c trends imply secular declines in the growth rate of aggregate labor and TFP. We embed this sectoral trend variation into a dynamic multi-sector framework in which materials and capital used in each sector are produced by other sectors. The presence of capital induces important network effects from production linkages that amplify the consequences of changing sectoral trends on GDP growth. Thus, in some sectors, changes in TFP and labor growth lead to changes in GDP growth that may be as large as three times these sectors' share in the economy. We find that trend GDP growth has declined by more than 2 percentage points since 1950, and that this decline has been primarily shaped by sector-specifi c rather than aggregate factors. Sustained contractions in growth specifi c to Construction, Nondurable Goods, and Professional and Business and Services make up close to sixty percent of the estimated trend decrease in GDP growth. In addition, the slow process of capital accumulation means that structural changes have endogenously persistent effects. We estimate that trend GDP growth will continue to decline for the next 10 years absent persistent increases in TFP and labor growth.
AUTHORS: Watson, Mark W.; Hornstein, Andreas; Foerster, Andrew; Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G.
How Much Has Job Matching Efficiency Declined?
During the recession and recovery, hiring has been slower than might be expected considering the large numbers of vacant jobs and unemployed individuals. This raises some concern about structural changes in the process of matching job seekers with employers. However, the standard measures account for only the unemployed and not those who are out of the labor force. Including other non-employed groups in the measured pool of job seekers while adjusting for different job finding rates among these groups shows that the decline in matching efficiency is similar to earlier declines.
AUTHORS: Kudlyak, Marianna; Hornstein, Andreas
The Labor Force Participation Rate Trend and Its Projections
A labor force participation rate that is at or above its long-run trend is consistent with a labor market at or above full employment. In 2018, the estimated rate is at its trend of 62.8%, suggesting that the labor market is at full employment. Studying the population?s demographic makeup and labor trends for different groups sheds some light on what is driving the aggregate participation trend and implications for the future. Projections based on these trends estimate that labor participation will decline about 2.5 percentage points over the next decade.
AUTHORS: Schweinert, Annemarie; Hornstein, Andreas; Kudlyak, Marianna
How Have Changing Sectoral Trends Affected GDP Growth?
Trend GDP growth has slowed about 2.3 percentage points to 1.7% since 1950. Different economic sectors have contributed to this slowing to varying degrees depending on the distinct trends of technology and labor growth in each sector. The extent to which sectors influence overall growth depends on the degree of spillovers to other sectors, which amplifies the effect of sectoral changes. Three sectors with slowing growth and linkages to other sectors?construction, nondurable goods, and professional and business services?account for 60% of the decline in trend GDP growth.
AUTHORS: Sarte, Pierre-Daniel G.; Hornstein, Andreas; Watson, Mark W.; Foerster, Andrew T.
(S, s) inventory policies in general equilibrium
We study the aggregate implications of (S,s) inventory policies in a dynamic general equilibrium model with aggregate uncertainty. Firms in the model's retail sector face idiosyncratic demand risk, and (S,s) inventory policies are optimal because of fixed order costs. The distribution of inventory holdings affects the aggregate outcome in two ways: variation in the decision to order and variation in the rate of sale through the pricing decisions of retailers. We find that both mechanisms must operate to reconcile observations that orders are more volatile than, and inventory investment is positively correlated with, sales, while remaining consistent with other salient business cycle characteristics. The model exhibits strong amplifications for some shocks, and persistence to a limited extent.
AUTHORS: Fisher, Jonas D. M.; Hornstein, Andreas
(S,s) inventory policies in general equilibrium
We study the aggregate implications of (S,s) inventory policies in a dynamic general equilibrium model. Firms in the model's retail sector face idiosyncratic demand risk, and (S,s) inventory policies are optimal because of fixed order costs. The model economy replicates salient features of the business cycle and reconciles evidence that orders are more volatile than sales, and that inventory investment is positively correlated with sales. There are two main results. First, we find that general equilibrium effects and the optimal order size are important for the economy's response to exogenous shocks. Second, we find that key features of our results are independent of the presence of idiosyncratic risk.
AUTHORS: Hornstein, Andreas; Fisher, Jonas D. M.