Why Is Wage Growth So Low?
Real wage growth has been low in recent years despite continued improvement in the labor market. I examine the interaction between productivity growth and unemployment and show that low productivity growth largely accounts for the current low wage growth. If productivity growth were to pick up, the current low unemployment rate would likely strengthen the positive relationship between productivity growth and wage growth.
Global capital flows from China
Jun Nie and Nicholas Sly examine recent trends in capital flows from China and the implications for the United States.
Sticky information diffusion and the inertial behavior of durable consumption
A leading theory of consumption behavior is that consumers choose their consumption based only on their expected total lifetime income. This theory is called the permanent income hypothesis. According to this theory, consumers should adjust their consumption if they experience a change that affects their expected lifetime income, such as through an unexpected change in employment that affects their expected earnings going forward. One challenge for this theory is that the empirical evidence on consumer spending decisions for durable and nondurable goods does not match the implications of this ...
Model uncertainty, state uncertainty, and state-space models
This technical paper considers ways to capture uncertainty in the context of so-called "state-space" models. ; State-space models are powerful tools commonly used in macroeconomics, international economics, and finance. State-space models can generate estimates of an underlying, ultimately unobserved variable?such as the natural rate of unemployment?based on the movements of other variables that are observed and have some relationship to the unobserved variable. The paper shows how several macroeconomic models can be mapped to the state-space framework, thus helping quantify uncertainty ...
Model uncertainty and intertemporal tax smoothing
In this paper we examine how model uncertainty due to the preference for robustness (RB) affects optimal taxation and debt structure in the Barro tax-smoothing model (1979). We first study how the government spending shocks are absorbed in the short run by varying taxes or through debt under RB. Furthermore, we show that introducing RB can improve the model?s predictions by generating (i) the observed relative volatility of the changes in tax rates to government spending and (ii) the observed comovement between government deficits and spending, and (iii) more consistent behavior of government ...
Robustness, information-processing constraints, and the current account in small open economies
We examine the effects of two types of informational frictions, robustness (RB) and nite information-processing capacity (called rational inattention or RI) on the current account, in an otherwise standard intertemporal current account (ICA) model. We show that the interaction of RB and RI has the potential to improve the model?s predictions on the joint dynamics of the current account and income: (i) the contemporaneous correlation between the current account and income, (ii) the volatility and persistence of the current account in small open emerging and developed economies. In addition, we ...
Robust control, informational frictions, and international consumption correlations
In this paper we examine the effects of two types of information imperfections, robustness (RB) and nite information-processing capacity (called rational inattention or RI), on international consumption correlations in an otherwise standard small open economy model. We show that in the presence of capital mobility in nancial markets, RB lowers the international consumption correlations by generating heterogeneous responses of consumption to income shocks across countries facing different macroeconomic uncertainty. However, the calibrated RB model cannot explain the observed consumption ...
Training or search? evidence and an equilibrium model
Training programs are a major tool of labor market policies in OECD countries. I use a unique panel data set on the labor market experience of individual German workers between 2000 and 2002 to estimate a dynamic model of search and training, which allows me to quantify the impact of training programs and unemployment benefits on employment, unemployment, output, and the government expenditures. ; The model extends Ljungqvist and Sargent (JPE, 1998) by incorporating a training decision and a broader menu of unemployment benefits. Government-sponsored training programs feature a key trade-off ...
Consumer Spending in China: The Past and the Future
Jun Nie and Andrew Palmer examine the recent rise in the share of consumer spending in Chinese GDP to assess whether China can become a consumption-driven economy.
Spending Patterns and Cost of Living for Younger versus Older Households
Older households have faced slightly higher inflation rates than younger households over the past 40 years, though this gap is narrowing.