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Jel Classification:E24 

Working Paper
Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in the United States During and After the Great Recession

Rigidity in wages has long been thought to impede the functioning of labor markets. In this paper, we investigate the extent of downward nominal wage rigidity in US labor markets using job-level data from a nationally representative establishment-based compensation survey collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We use several distinct methods to test for downward nominal wage rigidity and to assess whether such rigidity is less or more severe in the presence of negative economic shocks than in more normal economic times. We find a significant amount of downward nominal wage rigidity in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-001r1

Report
Echoes of rising tuition in students’ borrowing, educational attainment, and homeownership in post-recession America

State average enrollment-weighted public college tuition and fees per school year rose by $3,843 (or 81 percent) between 2001 and 2009. How are recent cohorts absorbing this surge in college costs, and what effect is it having on their post-schooling consumption? Our analysis of tuition, educational attainment, and debt patterns for nine youth cohorts across all fifty states indicates that the tuition hike accounted for $1,628, or about 30 percent, of the increase in average student debt per capita among 24-year-olds between 2003 and 2011. However, estimates indicate no meaningful response to ...
Staff Reports , Paper 820

Discussion Paper
Marketization of Home Production and Gender Gaps in Working Hours

Gender gaps in working hours vary widely across member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This article summarizes the key results from Duval-Hernández, Fang, and Ngai (2021), who study the source of cross-country differences and what kind of policies can reduce the gap in working hours between women and men.
Policy Hub , Paper 2021-07

Working Paper
Macroelasticities and the U.S. sequestration budget cuts

Microeconomic studies keep reporting that the intertemporal substitution in consumption and the Frisch elasticity of aggregate labor supply have significantly lower values than macroeconomic models find consistent with the dynamics of aggregate variables. The paper argues that in the U.S. such dynamics have been influenced since 2013 by the temporary spending cuts imposed by the so-called budget sequestration. The paper exploits the "policy experiment" features of that measure to gauge macroelasticity values from the evidence associated with it, adopting to that effect a macroeconomic model ...
Working Papers , Paper 1412

Working Paper
Unemployment Insurance during a Pandemic

The CARES Act implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis dramatically increases the generosity of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, triggering concerns about its substantial impact on unemployment. This paper combines a labor market search-matching model with the SIR-type infection dynamics to study the effects of CARES UI on both unemployment and infection. More generous UI policies create work disincentives and lead to higher unemployment, but they also reduce infection and save lives. Economic shutdown policies further amplify these effects of UI policies. Quantitatively, the CARES ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2020-13

Working Paper
Taxes and Market Hours: The Role of Gender and Skill

Cross-country differences of market hours in 17 countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are mainly due to the hours of women, especially low-skilled women. This paper develops a model to account for the gender-skill differences in market hours across countries. The model explains a substantial fraction of the differences in hours by taxes, which reduce market hours in favor of leisure and home production, and by subsidized care, which frees (mostly) women from home care in favor of their market hours. Low-skilled women are more responsive to policy ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2017-8

Working Paper
The Baby Boomers and the Productivity Slowdown

The entry of baby boomers into the labor market in the 1970s slowed growth for physical and human capital per worker because young workers have little of both. Thus, the baby boom could have contributed to the 1970s productivity slowdown. I build and calibrate a model a la Huggett et al. (2011) with exogenous population and TFP to evaluate this theory. The baby boom accounts for 75% of the slowdown in the period 1964-69, 25% in 1970-74 and 2% in 1975-79. The retiring of baby boomers may cause a 2.8pp decline in productivity growth between 2020 and 2040, ceteris paribus.
Working Papers , Paper 2018-37

Working Paper
Labor Market Policies During an Epidemic

We study the effects and welfare implications of labor market policies that counteract the economic fall out from containment policies during an epidemic. We incorporate a standard epidemiological model into an equilibrium search model of the labor market to compare unemployment insurance (UI) expansions and payroll subsidies. In isolation, payroll subsidies that preserve match capital and enable a swift economic recovery are preferred over a cost-equivalent UI expansion. When considered jointly, however, a cost-equivalent optimal mix allocates 20 percent of the budget to payroll subsidies ...
Working Papers , Paper 2020-024

Report
Spatial Wage Gaps and Frictional Labor Markets

We develop a job-ladder model with labor reallocation across firms and space, which we design to leverage matched employer-employee data to study differences in wages and labor productivity across regions. We apply our framework to data from Germany: twenty-five years after the reunification, real wages in the East are still 26 percent lower than those in the West. We find that 60 percent of the wage gap is due to labor being paid a higher wage per efficiency unit in West Germany, and quantify three distinct barriers that prevent East Germans from migrating west to obtain a higher wage: ...
Staff Reports , Paper 898

Working Paper
The Effects of the Saving and Banking Glut on the U.S. Economy

We use a quantitative equilibrium model with houses, collateralized debt and foreign borrowing to study the impact of global imbalances on the U.S. economy in the 2000s. Our results suggest that the dynamics of foreign capital flows account for between one fourth and one third of the increase in U.S. house prices and household debt that preceded the financial crisis. The key to these findings is that the model generates the sustained low level of interest rates observed over that period.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2013-17

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