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Author:Melosi, Leonardo 

Working Paper
Bad Jobs and Low Inflation

We study a model in which firms compete to retain and attract workers searching on the job. A drop in the rate of on-the-job search makes such wage competition less likely, reducing expected labor costs and lowering inflation. This model explains why inflation has remained subdued over the last decade, which is a conundrum for general equilibrium models and Phillips curves. Key to this success is the observed slowdown in the recovery of the employment-to-employment transition rate in the last five years, which is interpreted by the model as a decline in the share of employed workers searching ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2020-09

Working Paper
Hitting the Elusive Inflation Target

Since the 2001 recession, average core inflation has been below the Federal Reserve?s 2% target. This deflationary bias is a predictable consequence of a low nominal interest rates environment in which the central bank follows a symmetric strategy to stabilize inflation. The deflationary bias increases if macroeconomic uncertainty rises or the natural real interest rate falls. An asymmetric rule according to which the central bank responds less aggressively to above-target inflation corrects the bias and allows inflation to converge to the central bank?s target. We show that adopting this ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-7

Working Paper
Escaping the Great Recession

While high uncertainty is an inherent implication of the economy entering the zero lower bound, deflation is not, because agents are likely to be uncertain about the way policymakers will deal with the large stock of debt arising from a severe recession. We draw this conclusion based on a new-Keynesian model in which the monetary/fiscal policy mix can change over time and zero-lower-bound episodes are recurrent. Given that policymakers? behavior is constrained at the zero lower bound, beliefs about the exit strategy play a key role. Announcing a period of austerity is detrimental in the short ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2014-17

Working Paper
The limits of forward guidance

The viability of forward guidance as a monetary policy tool depends on the horizon over which it can be communicated and its influence on expectations over that horizon. We develop and estimate a model of imperfect central bank communications and use it to measure how effectively the Fed has managed expectations about future interest rates and the influence of its communications on macroeconomic outcomes. Standard models assume central banks have perfect control over expectations about the policy rate up to an arbitrarily long horizon and this is the source of the so-called ?forward guidance ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-3

Working Paper
Pandemic Recessions and Contact Tracing

We study contact tracing in a new macro-epidemiological model in which infected agents may not show any symptoms of the disease and the availability of tests to detect these asymptomatic spreaders of the virus is limited. Contact tracing is a testing strategy aiming at reconstructing the infection chain of newly symptomatic agents. A coordination failure arises as agents fail to internalize that their individual consumption and labor decisions raise the number of traceable contacts to be tested, threatening the viability of the tracing system. The collapse of the tracing system considerably ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-31

Working Paper
Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency

We develop and estimate a general equilibrium model to quantitatively assess the effects and welfare implications of central bank transparency. Monetary policy can deviate from active inflation stabilization and agents conduct Bayesian learning about the nature of these deviations. Under constrained discretion, only short deviations occur, agents? uncertainty about the macroeconomy remains contained, and welfare is high. However, if a deviation persists, uncertainty accelerates and welfare declines. Announcing the future policy course raises uncertainty in the short run by revealing that ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2016-15

Newsletter
The Effects of the “Great Resignation” on Labor Market Slack and Inflation

The fraction of Americans switching their jobs has been increasing at a fast pace in the past 18 months, reaching its highest level on record. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 4.5 million people voluntarily left their jobs in November 2021—the largest figure in the past two decades. This period has been dubbed the Great Resignation. At the same time, wages and salaries have accelerated considerably and by the end of 2021, inflation had hit its highest level since 1982.
Chicago Fed Letter , Issue 465 , Pages 7

Working Paper
Bad Jobs and Low Inflation

We study a model in which firms compete to retain and attract workers searching on the job. A drop in the rate of on-the-job search makes such wage competition less likely, reducing expected labor costs and lowering inflation. This model explains why inflation has remained subdued over the last decade, which is a conundrum for general equilibrium models and Phillips curves. Key to this success is the observed slowdown in the recovery of the employment-to-employment transition rate in the last five years, which is interpreted by the model as a decline in the share of employed workers searching ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-09

Working Paper
The Role of News about TFP in U.S. Recessions and Booms

We develop a general equilibrium model to study the historical contribution of TFP news to the U.S. business cycle. Hiring frictions provide incentives for firms to start hiring ahead of an anticipated improvement in technology. For plausibly calibrated hiring costs, employment gradually rises in response to positive TFP news shocks even under standard preferences. TFP news shocks are identified mainly by current and expected unemployment rates since periods in which average unemployment is relatively high (low) are also periods in which average TFP growth is slow (fast). We work out the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2018-6

Working Paper
Escaping the Great Recession

We show that policy uncertainty about how the rising public debt will be stabilized accounts for the lack of deflation in the US economy at the zero lower bound. We first estimate a Markov-switching VAR to highlight that a zero-lower-bound regime captures most of the comovements during the Great Recession: a deep recession, no deflation, and large fiscal imbalances. We then show that a micro-founded model that features policy uncertainty accounts for these stylized facts. Finally, we highlight that policy uncertainty arises at the zero lower bound because of a trade-off between mitigating the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2016-16

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