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Estimating Hysteresis Effects
In this paper, we identify demand shocks that can have a permanent effect on output through hysteresis effects. We call these shocks permanent demand shocks. They are found to be quantitatively important in the United States, in particular when the sample includes the Great Recession. Recessions driven by permanent demand shocks lead to a permanent decline in employment and investment, although output per worker is largely unaffected. We find strong evidence that hysteresis transmits through a rise in long-term unemployment and a decline in labor force participation and disproportionately ...
Labor Productivity in a Pandemic
U.S. labor productivity has grown quickly during the pandemic compared with the past decade. However, this rapid pace is unlikely to be sustained. Similar to the Great Recession, the primary reasons for strong productivity growth now are cyclical effects that are likely to unwind as the economy continues to recover. For example, the number of workers has fallen, so capital per worker has risen—raising labor productivity in the short term. What effect the pandemic itself might have on productivity remains uncertain.
Labor Market Policies during an Epidemic
We study the positive and normative implications of labor market policies that counteract the economic fallout from containment measures 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 ...
The Selection Effects of Part-Time Work: Experimental Evidence from a Large-Scale Recruitment Drive
We implement a field experiment to examine how part-time work attracts applicants with different quality and productivity levels than full-time work. In a large-scale recruitment drive for a data-entry position in Ethiopia, either a part-time or full-time job opportunity was randomly offered across villages. We find that the part-time work attracts a less qualified pool of applicants with a stronger preference for short work hours, who in turn exhibit lower productivity, all relative to the full-time work. Our preferred estimates show that this selection effect on productivity may explain up ...