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Three great American disinflations
This paper analyzes the role of transparency and credibility in accounting for the widely divergent macroeconomic effects of three episodes of deliberate monetary contraction: the post-Civil War deflation, the post-WWI deflation, and the Volcker disinflation. Using a dynamic general equilibrium model in which private agents use optimal filtering to infer the central bank?s nominal anchor, we demonstrate that the salient features of these three historical episodes can be explained by differences in the design and transparency of monetary policy, even without any time variation in economic ...
Three great American disinflations
This paper analyzes the role of transparency and credibility in accounting for the widely divergent macroeconomic effects of three episodes of deliberate monetary contraction: the post-Civil War deflation, the post-WWI deflation, and the Volcker disinflation. Using a dynamic general equilibrium model in which private agents use optimal filtering to infer the central bank's nominal anchor, we demonstrate that the salient features of these three historical episodes can be explained by differences in the design and transparency of monetary policy, even without any time variation in economic ...
Price and quality dispersion in an offshoring market: evidence from semiconductor production services
We study cross-country differences in price and quality in the market for semiconductor wafer manufacturing services. Using a proprietary transaction-level data set, we document i) substantial constant-quality price differences across suppliers, and ii) shifts toward lower priced suppliers. Chinese producers on average charged 17% less than leading Taiwanese producers for otherwise identical products and increased their market share by 14.7 percentage points. The extent of cross-country price dispersion is also diminishing over a product's life. A model with costs of switching suppliers is ...
Why Were Pennsylvania’s Initial UI Claims so High?
As initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims exploded across the country early in the COVID-19 crisis, one fact stood out: Pennsylvania’s initial UI claims were exceptionally high. For the week ending March 21, Pennsylvania led all states with 378,908 initial UI claims.
The Aggregate Effects of Labor Market Frictions
Labor market frictions are able to induce sluggish aggregate employment dynamics. However, these frictions have strong implications for the source of this propagation: They distort the path of aggregate employment by impeding the flow of labor across firms. For a canonical class of frictions, we show how observable measures of such flows can be used to assess the effect of frictions on aggregate employment dynamics. Application of this approach to establishment microdata for the United States reveals that the empirical flow of labor across firms deviates markedly from the predictions of ...
Why Are Men Working Less These Days?
Common explanations for the drop in employment among men without college degrees invoke everything from robots to disability to working wives. But what does the evidence say?
Reopening the Economy: What Are the Risks, and What Have States Done?
The process of reopening economies battered by the COVID-19 pandemic has been the subject of considerable deliberation in recent months. It is generally agreed that accurate and timely monitoring of the pace of coronavirus spread is of the utmost importance in managing reopening. In addition, the discussion of reopening has often been framed by an assess-ment of the health risks posed by each economic sector. Some sectors, for example, involve especially close and protracted interaction among customers and employees, which can facilitate COVID-19 transmission. Accordingly, the sequence ...
Labor Supply Within the Firm
There is substantial variation in working time even within employer-employee matches, and yet estimates of the Frisch elasticity of labor supply can be near zero. This paper proposes a tractable theory of earnings and working time to interpret these observations. Production complementarities attenuate the response of working time to idiosyncratic, or worker-specific, shocks, but firm-wide shocks are mediated by preference parameters. The model can be identified using firm-worker matched data, revealing a Frisch elasticity of around 0.5. A quasi-experimental approach that mimics the design of ...
Replacement hiring—recruitment that seeks to replace positions vacated by workerswho quit—plays a central role in establishment dynamics. We document thisphenomenon using rich microdata on U.S. establishments, which frequently report nonet change in their employment, often for years at a time, despite facing substantial grossturnover in the form of quits. We propose a model in which replacement hiring is drivenby the presence of a putty-clay friction in the production structure of establishments.Replacement hiring induces a novel positive feedback channel through which an initialrise in ...