Inequality and Recessions
The increase in inequality over the past several decades has received widespread attention from both academics and the public at large. While much of this discourse centers on either the causes or normative implications of increasing inequality, it is important to ask whether the widening gap between the rich and poor has any direct effects on macroeconomic aggregates and, in particular, on the severity of the Great Recession, when output and consumption dropped precipitously and were slow to recover (see figure 1).
Household Inequality and the Consumption Response to Aggregate Real Shocks
The drop in output and consumption that occurred during the Great Recession has been large and prolonged. Figure 1 displays per capita U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) between 1985 and 2016 and highlights the large drop in both consumption and output that occurred starting in 2007 and its parallel shift compared with the previous trend. In this article, we ask why consumption has dropped so much and has been recovering so slowly. We also ask to what extent household inequality before and after the Great Recession interacted with the recession ...
Have Borrowers Recovered from Foreclosures during the Great Recession?
This article examines the current financial health of individuals who experienced a home mortgage foreclosure during the Great Recession and assesses the degree to which they have recovered relative to those who lost their homes before the downturn.
Surprising similarities: recent monetary regimes of small economies
In contrast to earlier recessions, the monetary regimes of many small economies have not changed in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. This is due in part to the fact that many small economies continue to use hard exchange rate fixes, a reasonably durable regime. However, most of the new stability is due to countries that float with an inflation target. Though a few have left to join the Eurozone, no country has yet abandoned an inflation targeting regime under duress. Inflation targeting now represents a serious alternative to a hard exchange rate fix for small economies seeking ...
Cheap Talk and the Efficacy of the ECB’s Securities Market Programme: Did Bond Purchases Matter?
In 2010, in response to an ever-worsening fiscal crisis, the ECB began purchasing sovereign debt from troubled euro-area countries through its Securities Market Programme (SMP). This program was designed to improve market functioning and restore the monetary transmission mechanism within the euro area. This paper does not test those ideals. Rather, we test whether SMP purchases systematically lowered peripheral yields and spreads. We find limited evidence of purchase effects but large announcement effects. In addition, on days in which the ECB was believed to have made large purchases, yields ...
Do Longer Expansions Lead to More Severe Recessions?
We are now in one of the longest expansions on record. The recession that preceded that expansion was one of the worst in history. Are those two facts related? Some economists suggest they are, while others suggest it?s the other way around: Longer expansions lead to more severe recessions. We assess the evidence for these two hypotheses. We find clear evidence for the former and little for the latter. Deeper recessions are often followed by stronger recoveries, while longer and stronger expansions are not followed by deeper recessions.
A tale of two states: the recession’s impact on N.Y. and N.J. school finances
Although schools play a crucial role in human capital formation and economic growth, relatively few studies consider the effect of recessions (and in particular the Great Recession) on schools. This article helps fill this gap by comparing and contrasting the effects of the Great Recession on school districts in New York and New Jersey. In fact, it is the first article to compare the impacts of the Great Recession on schools in different states. The authors find that the two states had very different experiences in the two years following the recession. While total school funding in New York ...
Precarious slopes? The Great Recession, federal stimulus, and New Jersey schools
While only a sparse literature investigates the impact of the Great Recession on various sectors of the economy, there is virtually no research on the effect on schools. This article starts to fill the void. The authors make use of rich panel data and a trend-shift analysis to study how New Jersey school finances were affected by the onset of the recession and the federal stimulus that followed. Their results show strong evidence of downward shifts in total school funding and expenditures, relative to trend, following the recession. Support of more than $2 billion in American Recovery and ...
The Long Road to Recovery: New York Schools in the Aftermath of the Great Recession
Using rich panel data and an interrupted time-series analysis, the authors examine how the funding and expenditure dynamics of New York school districts changed in the four years after the Great Recession. Extending prior work on the immediate effects of the recession on school finances in 2009-10 in Chakrabarti, Livingston, and Setren (2015), they take a longer-term view through 2012, to document what happened when support from federal stimulus funding began to dwindle and then ended. The analysis finds that the more than $6 billion in support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ...
States Are Recovering Lost Jobs at Surprisingly Similar Rates
The U.S. economy lost more than 8 million jobs between January 2008 and February 2010. In contrast with earlier recessions, employment declines were seen across almost all states. The extent varied: In this recession, states with big housing busts generally saw steeper job losses, especially in construction, while some states also had severe job losses driven by manufacturing declines. One feature of this employment recovery is that it?s actually been quite uniform across states?and much more uniform than in earlier recoveries. With few exceptions, states appear to be marching in lockstep.