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Working Paper
On the Importance of the Participation Margin for Market Fluctuations

Conventional analyses of cyclical fluctuations in the labor market ascribe a minor role to the labor force participation margin. In contrast, a flows-based decomposition of the variation in labor market stocks reveals that transitions at the participation margin account for around one-third of the cyclical variation in the unemployment rate. This result is robust to adjustments of data for spurious transitions, and for time aggregation. Inferences from conventional, stocks-based analyses of labor force participation are shown to be subject to a stock-flow fallacy, neglecting the offsetting ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2013-05

Conference Paper
Inflation expectations, uncertainty, the Phillips curve, and monetary policy - comments

Historical experience suggests an important role for some deviation from the most restricted form of rational expectations in inflation dynamics, but also shows that other aspects of sluggish price adjustment, such as nominal rigidities, are important; and the available indicators of inflation expectations show that imperfect information regarding central bank intentions has been one source of inertia in inflation expectations.
Conference Series ; [Proceedings]

Journal Article
How much lower can the unemployment rate go?

Review , Issue Jul , Pages 44-57

Working Paper
The Shimer puzzle and the identification of productivity shocks

Shimer (2005) argues that the Mortensen-Pissarides (MP) model of unemployment lacks an amplification mechanism because it generates less than 10 percent of the observed business cycle fluctuations in unemployment given labor productivity shocks of plausible magnitude. This paper argues that part of the problem lies with the identification of productivity shocks. Because of the endogeneity of measured labor productivity, filtering out the trend component as in Shimer (2005) may not correctly identify the shocks driving unemployment. Using a New-Keynesian framework to control for the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2009-04

Journal Article
Challenges to the natural rate framework

By most estimates, the U.S. unemployment rate is currently below its "natural rate." The implication is the economy is operating at an unsustainably high level of resource utilization. Capacity levels are being strained, tending to put upward pressure on wages and prices. In anticipation of these rising inflationary pressures, the Federal Reserve has firmed monetary policy several times over the past year.> A majority of mainstream economists appear comfortable with the natural rate framework, in part because it has tracked inflation successfully over the past 35 years. Despite its ...
Economic Review , Volume 80 , Issue Q II , Pages 19-25

Measurement of unemployment

Measures of unemployment tally people without a job who are looking for one. For measurement purposes, the critical question is what constitutes ?looking.? This article summarizes how unemployment is measured in the United States and Europe, and describes recent research investigating the permeability of the dividing line between the unemployed and ?marginally attached? subgroups of those out of the labor market. A continuum between unemployed and entirely inactive individuals indicates that measures beyond unemployment may be useful in judging the state of the labor market.
Public Policy Brief

Working Paper
Optimal labor-market policy in recessions

The authors examine the optimal labor market-policy mix over the business cycle. In a search and matching model with risk-averse workers, endogenous hiring and separation, and unobservable search effort they first show how to decentralize the constrained-efficient allocation. This can be achieved by a combination of a production tax and three labor-market policy instruments, namely, a vacancy subsidy, a layoff tax and unemployment benefits. The authors derive analytical expressions for the optimal setting of each of these for the steady state and for the business cycle. Their propositions ...
Working Papers , Paper 11-48

Discussion Paper
Interpreting Unemployment Data in the Time of COVID-19

Since mid-March, a record number of people have become unemployed and filed for unemployment benefits. While both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployment insurance claims have fallen since the peak in April, the number of unemployment claims has been falling at a much slower rate. Policy changes and the unique nature of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to this deviation and may impact the way labor market health is evaluated going forward.
Regional Matters

Journal Article
Monetary policy and racial unemployment rates

When the Federal Open Market Committee began raising interest rates in June 1999 to forestall inflationary pressures, concern mounted that monetary policy moves might slow the pace of economic growth, undoing the employment gains minorities and other disadvantaged groups made during the 1990s. Implicit in such concern is the idea that these groups will be disproportionately affected by an economic slowdown. ; To explore this issue, this article analyzes the effect of exogenous movements in monetary policy and other macroeconomic variables on the overall and black unemployment rates. These ...
Economic Review , Volume 85 , Issue Q4 , Pages 1-16

Journal Article
The jobless

FRBSF Economic Letter



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Valletta, Robert G. 20 items

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