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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 ...
Land of Opportunity? Economic Mobility in the United States
Income inequality has increased in recent years, while economic mobility has decreased. Many factors contribute to mobility, but for most people advancement depends on opportunities to obtain human capital ? opportunities that are not as good for children in poor families. Initiatives that focus on early childhood education seem to yield high returns on investment and potentially could help the United States achieve a more inclusive prosperity.
When It Comes to Wage Growth, the Measure Matters
Average wages are a closely watched economic indicator. The growth rate of average wages can help tell us, for example, how workers? living standards are changing, whether employers face rising costs that they might pass through to consumer price inflation, and whether the labor market is tight or has room to improve further. In the realm of monetary policy, the last two applications are particularly important because they can help people assess the outlook for the Federal Reserve?s ?dual mandate? of price stability and maximum employment.
Job Switching and Wage Growth
This article shows a remarkably strong relationship between job switching and nominal wage growth. We also find a fairly strong relationship between job switching and the cyclical component of inflation. Furthermore, job switching seems to be predictive of both wage growth and inflation.