Trend inflation, firm-specific capital, and sticky prices
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.
The real business cycle: intermediate inputs and sectoral comovement
We describe the postwar U.S. business cycle for the durable and nondurable goods producing sector. The business cycle is characterized by positive comovement of output, employment, and investment across the two sectors. We develop a two sector growth model to explain the observed pattern of comovements, and suggest that intermediate inputs produced by the nondurable goods sector for the durable goods sector play a crucial role.
The Pandemic's Impact on Unemployment and Labor Force Participation Trends
Following early 2020 responses to the pandemic, labor force participation declined dramatically and has remained below its 2019 level, whereas the unemployment rate recovered briskly. We estimate the trend of labor force participation and unemployment and find a substantial impact of the pandemic on estimates of trend. It turns out that levels of labor force participation and unemployment in 2021 were approaching their estimated trends. A return to 2019 levels would then represent a tight labor market, especially relative to long-run demographic trends that suggest further declines in the ...
Does the Unemployment Rate Really Overstate Labor Market Recovery?
Unemployment rose dramatically during the 2007-09 recession, peaking at 10 percent in October 2009. It has fallen steadily since then, at times outpacing economists' forecasts. In April, unemployment reached 6.3 percent, about two-thirds of the way back to its prerecession level. Such progress is often a sign of recovery, but some observers question whether the unemployment rate accurately measures resource utilization in the current labor market.
Generalized Matching Functions and Resource Utilization Indices for the Labor Market
In the U.S. labor market, unemployed individuals who are actively looking for work are more than three times as likely to become employed than those individuals who 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 make the transition from unemployment to employment. 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 nonemployment index (NEI), that is ...
Interest rate versus money supply instruments: on the implementation of Markov-perfect optimal monetary policy
Currently there is a growing literature exploring the features of optimal monetary policy in New Keynesian models under both commitment and discretion. With respect to time consistent policy, the literature focuses on solving for allocations. Recently, however, King and Wolman (2004) have examined implementation issues involved under time consistent policy when the monetary authority chooses nominal money balances. Surprisingly, they find that equilibria are no longer unique under a money stock regime. Indeed, there exist multiple steady states. Dotsey and Hornstein find that King and ...
The role of real wages, productivity and fiscal policy in Germany's Great Depression 1928-1937
We study the behavior of output, employment, consumption, and investment in Germany during the Great Depression of 1928-37. In this time period, real wages were countercyclical, and productivity and fiscal policy were procyclical. We use the neoclassical growth model to investigate how much these factors contribute to the Depression. We find that real wages, which were significantly above their market clearing levels, were the most important factor for the economic decline in the Depression. Changes in productivity and fiscal policy were also important for the decline and recovery. Even ...
Projecting Unemployment and Demographic Trends
Demographic forces have profoundly shaped the dynamics of U.S. labor force participation and unemployment over the past forty years. Recognizing the importance of these employment indicators for the conduct of monetary policy, this Economic Brief explores how they have been influenced by the U.S. population's changing gender, educational, and age profile. Based on the authors' estimates, the trend U.S. unemployment rate will decline to 4.3 percent over the next ten years as the population continues to age and increase its educational attainment.
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 ...