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Author:Rohan, Justin 

Working Paper
Consumption Heterogeneity by Occupation: Understanding the Impact of Occupation on Personal Consumption during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This paper exploits the variation in the unemployment rate of different occupations in the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic to analyze the response of consumption spending to unemployment risk. We find that earlier in the pandemic, higher unemployment risk did not reduce relative spending. However, as the pandemic proceeded, higher unemployment risk reduced relative spending. This pattern held across both essential and nonessential spending categories. We find that “high-risk” occupations had three common characteristics: lower ability to be performed from home, higher physical ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-16

Working Paper
Impact of Occupational Unemployment Risk on Household Spending

The life-cycle consumption and permanent income hypotheses predict that if workers face greater likelihood of unemployment in the future that lowers expected future income, they will save more today. In this paper, we test this hypothesis by looking at the expenditure response of workers to the change in unemployment risk measured at the occupational level. We find that occupational unemployment risk does not have a large impact on consumption expenditure. However, despite investigating multiple forms of occupational unemployment risk for multiple expenditure categories in two expenditure ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-7

Report
Consumption Spending during the COVID-19 Pandemic

We use a novel empirical approach to decompose the impact of different economic, demographic, and COVID-19–related factors (such as lockdowns, case counts, and vaccination rates) on consumption spending on a week-by-week basis during the pandemic. This allows us to study how demographic and economic groups were differentially affected by the pandemic while crucially controlling for other factors. Our results imply that Hispanic and college-educated populations showed particularly large and persistent declines in relative spending. We also compute the relative importance of factors in ...
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