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Social Learning for the Masses


The Recent Steepening of Phillips Curves

The Phillips curve captures the empirical inverse relationship between the level of inflation and unemployment. The reciprocal of its slope, sometimes referred to as the “sacrifice ratio,” represents the increase in the unemployment rate associated with a 1 percentage point reduction in the inflation rate. In this Chicago Fed Letter, we provide evidence that the Phillips curve has steepened in many industrialized countries since the start of the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. This suggests a lower sacrifice ratio now than before 2020.
Chicago Fed Letter , Volume No 475

Journal Article
Corporate Profits Contributed a Lot to Inflation in 2021 but Little in 2022—A Pattern Seen in Past Economic Recoveries

Corporate profits rose quickly in 2021 along with inflation, raising concerns about corporations driving up prices to increase profits. Although corporate profits indeed contributed to inflation in 2021, their contribution fell in 2022. This pattern is not unusual: in previous economic recoveries, corporate profits were the main contributor to inflation in the first year and displaced by costs in the second year.
Economic Bulletin

Networks, Innovation and Productivity: A Conference Recap

How do employment targets affect firm dynamics? What is the relationship between inventor migration, and local productivity and knowledge spillovers? How are surplus gains from inventions distributed? These were among the questions addressed by economists during a recent Richmond Fed research conference.Economists from the Richmond Fed, research universities and other institutions met in Richmond for a conference in May. Researchers presented papers on a variety of topics, including digital advertising, R&D allocation, production networks, and knowledge creation and diffusion.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Volume 23 , Issue 17

Working Paper
R&D Capital and the Idea Production Function

We supplement the “Idea Production Function” (IPF), whereby research and development (R&D) activity leads to growth, with measures of R&D capital. We construct the R&D capital stock in the United States and estimate the IPF with patent applications as R&D output, allowing for a flexible treatment of R&D productivity (over 1968–2019). The estimated substitution elasticity between R&D inputs is 0.7−0.8, which suggests that R&D capital is an essential factor in producing ideas and complementary to R&D labor. We identify a positive trend in R&D labor productivity (roughly 1 percent) and a ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 23-05

Discussion Paper
Disinflation Policies with a Flat Phillips Curve

Yesterday’s post analyzed the drivers of the surge in inflation over the course of 2021 through the lens of the New York Fed DSGE model. In today’s post, we use the model to study how alternative monetary policy strategies might contribute to bringing inflation back down to 2 percent. Our main finding is that there is no monetary silver bullet. Due to a flat Phillips curve—a well–documented feature of the economic environment of the last three decades—monetary policy can only achieve faster disinflation at a considerable cost in terms of forgone economic activity. This is true ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20220302

Challenges that the Recent Financial Market Turmoil Places on our Macroeconomic Toolkit

Remarks by Charles L. Evans, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Swiss National Bank Research Conference Zurich, Switzerland
Speech , Paper 20

Secular Trends in Macroeconomics and Firm Dynamics: A Conference Recap

How does declining population growth affect firm dynamics? Is income growth volatility decreasing in the U.S.? How do changes in housing prices affect young businesses? Have investments in artificial intelligence improved productivity? These were among the questions addressed by economists during a recent Richmond Fed research conference.
Richmond Fed Economic Brief , Volume 23 , Issue 02

Working Paper
Firm Entry and Macroeconomic Dynamics: A State-level Analysis

Using an annual panel of U.S. states over the period 1982-2014, we estimate the response of macroeconomic variables to a shock to the number of new firms (startups). We find that these shocks have significant effects that persist for many years on real gross domestic product, productivity and population. This is consistent with simple models of firm dynamics where a ?missing generation? of firms affects productivity persistently.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2016-1

A unified approach to measuring u*

This paper bridges the gap between two popular approaches to estimating the natural rate of unemployment, u*. The first approach uses detailed labor market indicators, such as labor market flows, cross-sectional data on unemployment and vacancies, or various measures of demographic changes. The second approach, which employs reduced-form models and DSGE models, relies on aggregate price and wage Phillips curve relationships. We combine the key features of these two approaches to estimate the natural rate of unemployment in the United States using both data on labor market flows and a ...
Staff Reports , Paper 889


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