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Working Paper
Is "Learning-by-Exporting" Important? Micro-dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco

Is there any empirical evidence that firms become more efficient after becoming exporters? Do firms that become exporters generate positive spillovers for domestically-oriented producers in their industry or region? In this paper we analyze the causal links between exporting and productivity using firm-level panel data from three semi-industrialized economies. Representing export market participation and production costs as jointly dependent autoregressive processes, we look for evidence that firms' stochastic cost process shifts when they break into foreign markets. We find that relatively ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 1996-30

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

The Great Recession, entrepreneurship, and productivity performance

In recent years, it is argued, the level of entrepreneurial activity in the United States has declined, causing concern because of its potential macroeconomic implications. In particular, it is feared that a lower rate of firm creation may be associated with lower productivity growth and, hence, lower economic growth in the coming years. This paper studies the issue, focusing on the dynamics of entrepreneurship and productivity around the time of the Great Recession. The author looks first at the recent evolution of alternative measures of entrepreneurship and of productivity, and then ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 14-8

Working hard in the wrong place: a mismatch-based explanation to the UK productivity puzzle

The UK experienced an unusually prolonged stagnation in labor productivity in the aftermath of the Great Recession. This paper analyzes the role of sectoral labor misallocation in accounting for this ?productivity puzzle.? If jobseekers disproportionately search for jobs in sectors where productivity is relatively low, hires are concentrated in the wrong sectors and the post-recession recovery in aggregate productivity can be slow. Our calculations suggest that, quantified at the level of three-digit occupations, this mechanism can explain up to two-thirds of the deviations from trend-growth ...
Staff Reports , Paper 757

Agglomeration and job matching among college graduates

We examine job matching as a potential source of urban agglomeration economies. Focusing on college graduates, we construct two direct measures of job matching based on how well an individual?s job corresponds to his or her college education. Consistent with matching-based theories of urban agglomeration, we find evidence that larger and thicker local labor markets increase both the likelihood and quality of a job match for college graduates. We then assess the extent to which better job matching of college-educated workers increases individual-level wages and thereby contributes to the urban ...
Staff Reports , Paper 587

Human capital and economic activity in urban America

We examine the relationship between human capital and economic activity in U.S. metropolitan areas, extending the literature in two ways. First, we utilize new data on metropolitan area GDP to measure economic activity. Results show that a one-percentage-point increase in the proportion of residents with a college degree is associated with about a 2 percent increase in metropolitan area GDP per capita. Second, we develop measures of human capital that reflect the types of knowledge within U.S. metropolitan areas. Regional knowledge stocks related to the provision of producer services and ...
Staff Reports , Paper 332

Working Paper
Explaining Educational Attainment across Countries and over Time

Consider the following facts. In 1950, the richest countries attained an average of 8 years of schooling whereas the poorest countries 1.3 years, a large 6-fold difference. By 2005, the difference in schooling declined to 2-fold because schooling increased faster in poor than in rich countries. What explains educational attainment differences across countries and their evolution over time? We consider an otherwise standard model of schooling featuring non- homothetic preferences and a labor supply margin to assess the quantitative contribution of productivity and life expectancy in explaining ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-48

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

Working Paper
The Cross-Section of Labor Leverage and Equity Returns

Using a standard production model, we demonstrate theoretically that, even if labor is fully flexible, it generates a form of operating leverage if (a) wages are smoother than productivity and (b) the capital-labor elasticity of substitution is strictly less than one. Our model supports using labor share?the ratio of labor expenses to value added?as a proxy for labor leverage. We show evidence for conditions (a) and (b), and we demonstrate the economic significance of labor leverage: High labor-share firms have operating profits that are more sensitive to shocks, and they have higher expected ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-22

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


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