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Inflation and the Gig Economy: Have the Rise of Online Retailing and Self-Employment Disrupted the Phillips Curve?
During the recovery from the Great Recession, inflation did not reach the central bank?s 2 percent objective as quickly as many models had predicted. This coincided with increases in online shopping, which arguably made retail markets more contestable and damped retail inflation. This hypothesis is tested using data on the online share of retail sales, which are incorporated into an econometric model. Results imply that the rise of online retail has flattened the Phillips Curve, reducing the sensitivity of inflation to unemployment rate changes. Improvement in fit from just including the ...
Financial Constraints of Entrepreneurs and the Self-Employed
Growth-oriented entrepreneurial start-ups generate more economic growth than other self-employed businesses, yet they only constitute a small fraction of start-ups. We examine whether financial constraints impede these types of start-ups by exploiting lottery wins as exogenous wealth shocks. We find that lottery-win magnitude increases winners? subsequent incorporation, implying that entrepreneurs face financial constraints, but not business registration, implying that financial constraints do not bind as much for the self-employed. Our results, that financial constraints bind for ...
Self-employment and health care reform: evidence from Massachusetts
We study the e ect of the Massachusetts health care reform on the uninsured rate and the self-employment rate in the state. The reform required all individuals to obtain health insurance, required most employers to o er health insurance to their employees, formed a private marketplace that o ered subsidized health insurance options and ex- panded public insurance. We examine data from the Current Population Survey (CPS)for 1994-2012 and its Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement for 1996-2013. We show that the reform led to a dramatic reduction in the state's uninsured rate due to ...
Digital Adoption, Automation, and Labor Markets in Developing and Emerging Economies
We document a strong negative link between self-employment and the rate of digital adoption by firms in developing and emerging economies. No link between digital adoption and the unemployment rate is found, however. To explain this evidence, we build a general equilibrium search-and-matching model with endogenous labor force participation, self-employment, endogenous firm entry, and information-and-communications technology adoption. The main finding is that changes in the cost of technology adoption per se cannot rationalize the evidence. Instead, changes in firms' barriers to entry ...