Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2020||Why Has the US Economy Recovered So Consistently from Every Recession in the Past 70 Years?|
with Robert E. Hall: w27234
It is a remarkable fact about the historical US business cycle that, after unemployment reached its peak in a recession, and a recovery began, the annual reduction in the unemployment rate was stable at around 0.55 percentage points per year. The economy seems to have had an irresistible force toward restoring full employment. There was high variation in monetary and fiscal policy, and in productivity and labor-force growth, but little variation in the rate of decline of unemployment. We explore models of the labor market's self-recovery that imply gradual working off of unemployment following a recession shock. These models explain why the recovery of market-wide unemployment is so much slower than the rate at which individual unemployed workers find new jobs. The reasons include the fact...
|February 2019||Job-Finding and Job-Losing: A Comprehensive Model of Heterogeneous Individual Labor-Market Dynamics|
with Robert E. Hall: w25625
We study the paths over time that individuals follow in the labor market, as revealed in the monthly Current Population Survey. Some people face much higher flow values from work than in a non-market activity; if they lose a job, they find another soon. Others have close to equal flow values and tend to circle through jobs, search, and non- market activities. And yet others have flow values for non-market activities that are higher than those in the market, and do not work. We develop a model that identifies and quantifies heterogeneity in dynamic individual behavior. Our model provides a bridge between research on monthly transition rates in the tradition of Blanchard and Diamond (1990) and research on economic dynamics in the tradition of Mortensen and Pissarides (1994). Our estimates di...
|January 2014||Does Greater Inequality Lead to More Household Borrowing? New Evidence from Household Data|
with Olivier Coibion, Yuriy Gorodnichenko, John Mondragon: w19850
One suggested hypothesis for the dramatic rise in household borrowing that preceded the financial crisis is that low-income households increased their demand for credit to finance higher consumption expenditures in order to "keep up" with higher-income households. Using household level data on debt accumulation during 2001-2012, we show that low-income households in high-inequality regions accumulated less debt relative to income than their counterparts in lower-inequality regions, which negates the hypothesis. We argue instead that these patterns are consistent with supply-side interpretations of debt accumulation patterns during the 2000s. We present a model in which banks use applicants' incomes, combined with local income inequality, to infer the underlying type of the applicant, so th...