Outstanding outsourcers: a firm- and plant-level analysis of production sharing
This paper examines the differences in characteristics between outsourcers and non-outsourcers with a particular focus on productivity. The measure of outsourcing comes from a question in the 1987 and 1992 Census of Manufactures regarding plant-level purchases of foreign intermediate materials. There are two key findings. First, outsourcers are "outstanding." That is, all else equal, outsourcers tend to have premia for plant and firm characteristics, such as being larger, more capital intensive, and more productive. One exception to this outsourcing premia is that wages tend to be the same ...
Tracking the Labor Market with "Big Data"
In our research, we explore the information content of the ADP microdata alone by producing an estimate of employment changes independent from the BLS payroll series as well as from other data sources.
Are Millennials Different?
The economic wellbeing of the millennial generation, which entered its working-age years around the time of the 2007-09 recession, has received considerable attention from economists and the popular press. This chapter compares the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of millennials with those of earlier generations and compares their income, saving, and consumption expenditures. Relative to members of earlier generations, millennials are more racially diverse, more educated, and more likely to have deferred marriage; these comparisons are continuations of longer-run trends in the ...
Offshoring bias in U.S. manufacturing: implications for productivity and value added
The rapid growth of offshoring has sparked a contentious debate over its impact on the U.S. manufacturing sector, which has recorded steep employment declines yet strong output growth--a fact reconciled by the notable gains in manufacturing productivity. We maintain, however, that the dramatic acceleration of imports from developing countries has imparted a significant bias to the official statistics. In particular, the price declines associated with the shift to low-cost foreign suppliers are generally not captured in input cost and import price indexes. Although cost savings are a primary ...
Annual Data on Investment and Capital Stocks
As part of the estimation of capacity for publication of its G.17 statistical release on industrial production and capacity utilization, the Federal Reserve Board produces annual information on the real capital stock and real investment for detailed industries within the manufacturing sector.
Who Drives Luxury Cars (Only for a While)?
Household consumption of luxury goods has attracted increasing attention in various areas of finance and economics research.
Business Exit During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Non-Traditional Measures in Historical Context
Given lags in official data releases, economists have studied "alternative data" measures of business exit resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Such measures are difficult to understand without historical context, so we review official data on business exit in recent decades. Business exit is common in the U.S., with about 7.5 percent of firms exiting annually in recent years, and is countercyclical (particularly recently). Both the high level and the cyclicality of exit are driven by very small firms. We explore a range of alternative measures and indicators of business exit, including ...
Using Payroll Processor Microdata to Measure Aggregate Labor Market Activity
We show that high-frequency private payroll microdata can help forecast labor market conditions. Payroll employment is perhaps the most reliable real-time indicator of the business cycle and is therefore closely followed by policymakers, academia, and financial markets. Government statistical agencies have long served as the primary suppliers of information on the labor market and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. That said, sources of ?big data? are becoming increasingly available through collaborations with private businesses engaged in commercial activities that record ...
Importing, exporting and firm-level employment volatility
In this paper, we use detailed trade and transactions data for the U.S. manufacturing sector to empirically analyze the direction and magnitude of the association between firm-level exposure to trade and the volatility of employment growth. We find that, relative to purely domestic firms, firms that only export and firms that both export and import are less volatile, whereas firms that only import are more volatile. The positive relationship between importing and volatility is driven mainly by firms that switch in and out of importing. We also document a significant degree of heterogeneity ...
The Young and the Carless? The Demographics of New Vehicle Purchases
A number of recent studies and press articles have documented a dramatic decline in young adults' willingness to own vehicles, particularly in the years since the 2007-09 recession.