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Keywords:productivity 

Report
The equilibrium real policy rate through the lens of standard growth models

The long-run equilibrium real policy rate is a key concept in monetary economics and an important input into monetary policy decision-making. It has gained particular prominence lately as the Federal Reserve continues to normalize monetary policy. In this study, we assess the evolution, current level, and prospective values of this equilibrium rate within the framework of standard growth models. Our analysis considers as a baseline the single-sector Solow model, but it places more emphasis on the multi-sector neoclassical growth model, which better fits the data over the past three decades. ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-6

Working Paper
The Returns to Government R&D: Evidence from U.S. Appropriations Shocks

Based on a narrative classification of all significant postwar changes in R&D appropriations for five major federal agencies, we find that an increase in nondefense R&D appropriations leads to increases in various measures of innovative activity and higher business-sector productivity in the long run. We structurally estimate the production function elasticity of nondefense government R&D capital using the SP-IV methodology of Lewis and Mertens (2023) and obtain implied returns of 150 to 300 percent over the postwar period. The estimates indicate that government-funded R&D accounts for one ...
Working Papers , Paper 2305

Working Paper
The Returns to Government R&D: Evidence from U.S. Appropriations Shocks

We estimate the causal impact of government-funded R&D on business-sector productivity growth. Identification is based on a novel narrative classification of all significant postwar changes in appropriations for R&D funded by five major federal agencies. Using long-horizon local projections and the narrative measures, we find that an increase in appropriations for nondefense R&D leads to increases in various measures of innovative activity, and higher productivity in the long run. We structurally estimate the production function elasticity of nondefense government R&D capital using the SP-IV ...
Working Papers , Paper 2305

Working Paper
Understanding Climate Damages: Consumption versus Investment

Existing climate-economy models use aggregate damage functions to model the effects of climate change. This approach assumes climate change has equal impacts on the productivity of firms that produce consumption and investment goods or services. We show the split between damage to consumption and investment productivity matters for the dynamic consequences of climate change. Drawing on the structural transformation literature, we develop a framework that incorporates heterogeneous climate damages. When investment is more vulnerable to climate, we find short-run consumption losses will be ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2022-21

Working Paper
Productivity in the World Economy During and After the Pandemic

This paper reviews how productivity has evolved around the world since the pandemic began in 2020. Productivity in many countries has been volatile. We conclude that the broad contours of productivity growth during this period have been heavily shaped by predictable cyclical patterns. Looking at U.S. industry data, we find little evidence that the sharp rise in telework has had a notable impact, good or bad, on productivity. Stepping back, the data so far appear consistent with a continuation of the slow-productivity-growth trajectory that we faced before the pandemic.
Working Paper Series , Paper 2023-29

Working Paper
Can Measurement Error Explain Slow Productivity Growth in Construction?

Of all major industries, construction is the only one to have registered negative average productivity growth since 1987. One might suspect measurement error to have biased growth downward since the deflators for this sector, which are used to translate nominal construction spending into the real quantity of structures, have risen much faster than those for other sectors. We find evidence of an upward bias in these deflators related to unobserved improvements in structure quality, but the magnitude is not large enough to alter the view that construction-sector productivity growth has been ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2023-052

Working Paper
Productivity and Potential Output Before, During, and After the Great Recession

U.S. labor and total-factor productivity growth slowed prior to the Great Recession. The timing rules explanations that focus on disruptions during or since the recession, and industry and state data rule out ?bubble economy? stories related to housing or finance. The slowdown is located in industries that produce information technology (IT) or that use IT intensively, consistent with a return to normal productivity growth after nearly a decade of exceptional IT-fueled gains. A calibrated growth model suggests trend productivity growth has returned close to its 1973-1995 pace. Slower ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2014-15

Working Paper
Risk-Adjusted Capital Allocation and Misallocation

We develop a theory linking “misallocation,” i.e., dispersion in marginal products of capital (MPK), to macroeconomic risk. Dispersion in MPK depends on (i) heterogeneity in firm-level risk premia and (ii) the price of risk, and thus is countercyclical. We document strong empirical support for these predictions. Stock market-based measures of risk premia imply that risk considerations explain about 30% of observed MPK dispersion among US firms and rationalize a large persistent component in firm-level MPK. Risk-based MPK dispersion, although not prima facie inefficient, lowers long-run ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2020-34

Journal Article
Revisiting Wage Growth after the Recession

In this Commentary, we show that realized wage growth since 2015 has mostly been at a rate that would be expected given observed rates of inflation and labor productivity growth. Moreover, labor productivity growth has been in line with its potential over the same period. This picture of the post-recession recovery of wages is very different from the one we observed in an earlier analysis, when all we had were data up through the end of 2015. The reasons underlying the difference are large revisions in labor productivity data and upticks in the inflation rate and labor productivity growth ...
Economic Commentary , Volume 2020 , Issue 02 , Pages 5

Working Paper
Comparative Advantage and Moonlighting

The proportion of multiple jobholders (moonlighters) is negatively correlated with productivity (wages) in cross-sectional and time series data, but positively correlated with education. We develop a model of the labor market to understand these seemingly contradictory facts. An income e?ect explains the negative correlation with productivity while a comparative advantage of skilled workers explains the positive correlation with education. We provide empirical evidence of the comparative advantage in CPS data. We calibrate the model to 1994 data on multiple jobholdings, and assess its ability ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-16

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