Disentangling goods, labor, and credit market frictions in three European economies
We build a flexible model with search frictions in three markets: credit, labor, and goods markets. We then apply this model (called CLG) to three different economies: a flexible, finance-driven economy (the UK), an economy with wage moderation (Germany), and an economy with structural rigidities (Spain). In the three countries, goods and credit market frictions play a dominant role in entry costs and account for 75% to 85% of total entry costs. In the goods market, adverse supply shocks are amplified through their propagation to the demand side, as they also imply income losses for ...
Efficiency in Sequential Labor and Goods Markets
This paper studies the optimal sharing of value added between consumers, producers, and labor. We first define a constrained optimum. We then compare it with the decentralized allocation. They coincide when the price maximizes the expected marginal revenue of the firm in the goods market, an outcome of the competitive search equilibrium, and when the wage exactly offsets the congestion externality of firm entry in the labor market, which is the traditional Hosios condition. Under price and wage bargaining, this allocation is achieved under a double Hosios condition combining the logic of ...
The renewal of interest in macroeconomic theories of search frictions in the goods market requires a deeper understanding of the cyclical properties of the intensive margins in this market. We review the theoretical mechanisms that promote either procyclical or countercyclical movements in time spent searching for consumer goods and services, and then use the American Time Use Survey to measure shopping time through the Great Recession. Average time spent searching declined in the aggregate over the period 2008-2010 compared to 2005-2007, and the decline was largest for the unemployed who ...
Unemployment Paths in a Pandemic Economy
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the U.S. economy and labor market. We assess the initial spike in unemployment due to the virus response and possible paths for the official unemployment rate through 2021. Substantial uncertainty surrounds the path for measured unemployment, depending on the path of the virus and containment measures and their impact on reported job search activity. We assess potential unemployment paths based on historical patterns of monthly flows in and out of unemployment, adjusted for unique features of the virus economy. The possible paths vary widely, but absent ...
Financial Frictions, the Housing Market, and Unemployment
We develop a two-sector search-matching model of the labor market with imperfect mobility of workers, augmented to incorporate a housing market and a frictional goods market. Homeowners use home equity as collateral to finance idiosyncratic consumption opportunities. A financial innovation that raises the acceptability of homes as collateral raises house prices and reduces unemployment. It also triggers a reallocation of workers, with the direction of the change depending on firms? market power in the goods market. A calibrated version of the model under adaptive learning can account for ...
Reservation Benefits: Assessing job acceptance impacts of increased UI payments
Job acceptance decisions weigh the value of an entire job spell relative to remaining unemployed. There exists a reservation level of beneﬁt payments in this dynamic decision problem at which an individual is indifferent between accepting and refusing an offer. This reservation beneﬁt is a simple statistic to test the job acceptance deterrence effects of current unemployment insurance (UI) payments, summarizing the decision problem conditional on the believed state of the labor market and the weeks of UI compensation remaining. Estimating the reservation beneﬁt for a wide range of US ...
Replicating and Projecting the Path of COVID-19 with a Model-Implied Reproduction Number
We fit a simple epidemiology model to daily data on the number of currently-infected cases of COVID-19 in China, Italy, the United States, and Brazil. These four countries can be viewed as representing different stages, from late to early, of a COVID-19 epidemic cycle. We solve for a model-implied effective reproduction number Rt each day so that the model closely replicates the daily number of currently infected cases in each country. Using the model-implied time series of Rt, we construct a smoothed version of the in-sample trajectory which is used to project the future evolution of Rt and ...
An Unemployment Crisis after the Onset of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the U.S. labor market, with massive job losses and a spike in unemployment to its highest level since the Great Depression. How long unemployment will remain at crisis levels is highly uncertain and will depend on the speed and success of coronavirus containment measures. Historical patterns of monthly flows in and out of unemployment, adjusted for unique aspects of the coronavirus economy, can help in assessing potential paths of unemployment. Unless hiring rises to unprecedented levels, unemployment could remain severely elevated well into next year.
Job-to-Job Transitions in an Evolving Labor Market
Job mobility in the United States has been slowing for almost two decades. The most prominent measure of mobility is direct transitions from one job to another. This measure has declined substantially among young workers ages 16 to 24 since the late 1990s, which helps explain the majority of the overall decline in job-to-job transition rates. However, for workers ages 25 and older, the labor market is essentially as dynamic today as it was 20 years ago.
Unemployment Rate Benchmarks
This paper discusses various concepts of unemployment rate benchmarks that are frequently used by policymakers for assessing the current state of the economy as it relates to the pursuit of both price stability and maximum employment. In particular, we propose two broad categories of unemployment rate benchmarks: (1) a longer-run unemployment rate expected to prevail after adjusting to business cycle shocks and (2) a stable-price unemployment rate tied to inflationary pressures. We describes how various existing measures used as benchmark rates fit within this taxonomy with the goal of ...