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Employment Dynamics in a Signaling Model with Workers' Incentives
Many firms adjust employment in a "lumpy" manner -- infrequently and in large bursts. In this paper, I show that lumpy adjustments can arise from concerns about the incentives of remaining workers. Specifically, I develop a model in which a firm's productivity depends on its workers' effort and workers' income prospects depend on the firm's profitability. I use this model to analyze the consequences of demand shocks that are observed by the firm but not by its workers, who can only try to infer the firm's profitability from its employment decisions. I show that the resulting signaling model ...
The Unemployed with Jobs and without Jobs
Potential workers are classified as unemployed if they seek work but are not working. The unemployed population contains two groups---those with jobs and those without jobs. Those with jobs are on furlough or temporary layoff. This group expanded tremendously in April 2020. They wait out periods of non-work with the understanding that their jobs still exist and that they will be recalled. We show that the resulting temporary-layoff unemployment dissipates quickly following a spike. Potential workers without jobs constitute what we call jobless unemployment. Shocks that elevate jobless ...
All Layoffs Are Not Created Equal
More layoffs are intended to be temporary than conventional measures would suggest. Shigeru Fujita explains how this undercounting occurs and its surprising implications for today's problem of long-term unemployment.
Back-of-the-Envelope Estimates of Next Quarter’s Unemployment Rate
Layoffs are certainly one of the effects of battling COVID-19. What sort of unemployment rate might we see in the second quarter of 2020?