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Jel Classification:D22 

Working Paper
Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier

Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data, we show that firms lever their political connections to win stimulus grants and that public expenditure channeled through politically connected firms hinders job creation. We build a unique database that links information on campaign contributions, state legislative elections, firm characteristics, and ARRA grant allocation. Using exogenous variation in political connections based on ex-post close elections held before ARRA, we causally show that politically connected firms are 38 percent more likely to secure a grant. Based on an ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-13

Working Paper
No Longer Qualified? Changes in the Supply and Demand for Skills within Occupations

Using a novel database of 159 million online job postings, we examine changes in employer skill requirements for education and specific skillsets between 2007 and 2017. We find that upskilling—in terms of increasing demands for bachelor’s degrees as well as software skills—was a persistent trend among high-skill occupations, but either a temporary or non-existent phenomenon among middle-skill and low-skill occupations. We also find evidence that persistentupskilling in the high-skill sector contributed to greater occupational mismatch that remained elevated during the recovery from the ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-3

Working Paper
Downskilling: changes in employer skill requirements over the business cycle

Using a novel database of 82.5 million online job postings, we show that employer skill requirements fell as the labor market improved from 2010 to 2014. We find that a 1 percentage point reduction in the local unemployment rate is associated with a roughly 0.27 percentage point reduction in the fraction of jobs requiring at least a bachelor?s degree and a roughly 0.23 percentage point reduction in the fraction requiring five or more years of experience. This pattern is established using multiple measures of labor availability, is bolstered by similar trends along heretofore unmeasured ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-9

Working Paper
Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier

Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data, we show that firms lever their political connections to win stimulus grants and that public expenditure channeled through politically connected firms hinders job creation. We build a unique database that links information on campaign contributions, state legislative elections, firm characteristics, and ARRA grant allocation. Using exogenous variation in political connections based on ex-post close elections held before ARRA, we causally show that politically connected firms are 38 percent more likely to secure a grant. Based on an ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-005r1

Working Paper
Market exposure and endogenous firm volatility over the business cycle

First Draft: November 1, 2011 We propose a theory of endogenous firm-level volatility over the business cycle based on endogenous market exposure. Firms that reach a larger number of markets diversify market-specific demand risk at a cost. The model is driven only by total factor productivity shocks and captures the business cycle properties of firm-level volatility. Using a panel of U.S. firms (Compustat), we empirically document the countercyclical nature of firm-level volatility. We then match this panel to Compustat?s Segment data and the U.S. Census?s Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-12

Working Paper
Changing Business Dynamism and Productivity : Shocks vs. Responsiveness

The pace of job reallocation has declined in all U.S. sectors since 2000. In standard models, aggregate job reallocation depends on (a) the dispersion of idiosyncratic productivity shocks faced by businesses and (b) the marginal responsiveness of businesses to those shocks. Using several novel empirical facts from business microdata, we infer that the pervasive post-2000 decline in reallocation reflects weaker responsiveness in a manner consistent with rising adjustment frictions and not lower dispersion of shocks. The within-industry dispersion of TFP and output per worker has risen, while ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-007

Working Paper
Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier

Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) data, we show that firms lever their political connections to win stimulus grants and public expenditure channeled through politically connected firms hinders job creation. We build a unique database that links campaign contributions and state legislative election outcomes to ARRA grant allocation. Using exogenous variation in political connections based on ex-post close elections held before ARRA, we causally show that politically connected firms are 64 percent more likely to secure a grant. Based on an instrumental variable approach, we ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2021-005

Working Paper
Business Exit During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Non-Traditional Measures in Historical Context

Lags in official data releases have forced economists and policymakers to leverage "alternative" or "non-traditional" data to measure business exit resulting from the COVID- 19 pandemic. We first review official data on business exit in recent decades to place the alternative measures of exit within historical context. For the U.S., business exit is countercyclical and fairly common, with about 7.5 percent of firms exiting annually in recent years. Both the high level and the cyclicality of exit are driven by very small firms and establishments. We then explore a range of alternative measures ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-089r1

Working Paper
Business Exit During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Non-Traditional Measures in Historical Context

Given lags in official data releases, economists have studied "alternative data" measures of business exit resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Such measures are difficult to understand without historical context, so we review official data on business exit in recent decades. Business exit is common in the U.S., with about 7.5 percent of firms exiting annually in recent years, and is countercyclical (particularly recently). Both the high level and the cyclicality of exit are driven by very small firms. We explore a range of alternative measures and indicators of business exit, including ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-089

Working Paper
COVID-19 Is a Persistent Reallocation Shock

Drawing on data from the firm-level Survey of Business Uncertainty, we present three pieces of evidence that COVID-19 is a persistent reallocation shock. First, rates of excess job and sales reallocation over 24-month periods have risen sharply since the pandemic struck, especially for sales. We compute these rates by aggregating over monthly firm-level observations that look back 12 months and ahead 12 months. Second, as of December 2020, firm-level forecasts of sales revenue growth over the next year imply a continuation of recent changes, not a reversal. Third, COVID-19 shifted relative ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-3

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