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Jel Classification:E24 

Report
An Approach to Predicting Regional Labor Market Effects of Economic Shocks: The COVID-19 Pandemic in New England

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic led state and local governments throughout New England and much of the nation to issue ordinances restricting activity that might otherwise contribute to the spread of the disease. Individuals also freely adjusted their behavior, hoping to reduce the chances of infecting themselves or others. As a result, many employers have experienced substantial reductions in sales revenue, which were expected to generate harmful effects on the labor market. Even though the reversal of mandated policies and voluntary behavior changes are well under way, the initial ...
Current Policy Perspectives

Discussion Paper
How Does Credit Access Affect Job-Search Outcomes and Sorting?

How does access to consumer credit affect the job finding behavior of displaced workers? Are these workers looking for jobs at larger and more productive firms? What is the impact of consumer credit on the amount of time it takes to find a job? In recent work with Ethan Cohen-Cole we explore these questions by building a new data set of individual credit reports (from TransUnion) merged with administrative earnings data. We describe our approach and our results in this post.
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20200304d

Report
Tuition, jobs, or housing: what's keeping millennials at home?

This paper documents marked changes in young Americans? residence choices over the past fifteen years, with recent cohorts delaying homeownership and lingering much longer in parents? households. To understand the sources and implications of this decline in independence, we estimate the contributions of local economic circumstances to the decision to live with parents or independently. Transition models, local aggregates, and state-cohort tuition patterns are used to address the likely presence of individual- and neighborhood-level unobserved heterogeneity. Employment and housing market ...
Staff Reports , Paper 700

Report
Consumption heterogeneity, employment dynamics, and macroeconomic co-movement

Real-business-cycle models necessarily rely on total factor productivity shocks to explain the observed co-movement between consumption, investment, and hours. However, an emerging body of evidence identifies "investment shocks" as important drivers of business cycles. This paper shows that a neoclassical model consistent with observed heterogeneity in labor supply and consumption across employed and nonemployed can generate co-movement in response to fluctuations in the marginal efficiency of investment. Estimation reveals that these shocks explain the bulk of business-cycle variance in ...
Staff Reports , Paper 399

Report
Slow recoveries and unemployment traps: monetary policy in a time of hysteresis

We analyze monetary policy in a model where temporary shocks can permanently scar the economy's productive capacity. Unemployed workers? skill losses generate multiple steady-state unemployment rates. When monetary policy is constrained by the zero bound, large shocks reduce hiring to a point where the economy recovers slowly at best?at worst, it falls into a permanent unemployment trap. Since monetary policy is powerless to escape such traps ex post, it must avoid them ex ante. The model quantitatively accounts for the slow U.S. recovery following the Great Recession, and suggests that lack ...
Staff Reports , Paper 831

Report
The role of start-ups in structural transformation

The U.S. economy has been going through a striking structural transformation?the secular reallocation of employment across sectors?over the past several decades. We propose a decomposition framework to assess the contributions of various margins of firm dynamics to this shift. Using firm-level data, we find that at least 50 percent of the adjustment has been taking place along the entry margin, owing to sectors receiving shares of start-up employment that differ from their overall employment shares. The rest is mostly the result of life cycle differences across sectors. Declining overall ...
Staff Reports , Paper 762

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

Report
The gender unemployment gap

The unemployment gender gap, defined as the difference between female and male unemployment rates, was positive until 1980. This gap virtually disappeared after 1980--except during recessions, when men's unemployment rates always exceed women's. We study the evolution of these gender differences in unemployment from a long-run perspective and over the business cycle. Using a calibrated three-state search model of the labor market, we show that the rise in female labor force attachment and the decline in male attachment can mostly account for the closing of the gender unemployment gap. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 613

Report
The cost of business cycles for unskilled workers

This paper reconsiders the cost of business cycles under incomplete markets. Primarily, we focus on the heterogeneity in the cost of business cycles among agents with different skill levels. Unskilled workers are subject to a much larger risk of unemployment during recessions than are skilled workers. Moreover, unskilled workers earn less income, which limits their ability to self-insure. We examine how this heterogeneity in unemployment risk and income translates into heterogeneity in the cost of business cycles. We set up a dynamic general equilibrium model with incomplete markets, in which ...
Staff Reports , Paper 214

Report
Mismatch unemployment

We develop a framework where mismatch between vacancies and job seekers across sectors translates into higher unemployment by lowering the aggregate job-finding rate. We use this framework to measure the contribution of mismatch to the recent rise in U.S. unemployment by exploiting two sources of cross-sectional data on vacancies: JOLTS and HWOL (a new database covering the universe of online U.S. job advertisements). Mismatch across industries and occupations explains at most one-third of the total observed increase in the unemployment rate. Geographical mismatch plays no apparent role. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 566

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