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Monetary policy and racial unemployment rates

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  • Madeline Zavodny
  • Tao Zha

Abstract

When the Federal Open Market Committee began raising interest rates in June 1999 to forestall inflationary pressures, concern mounted that monetary policy moves might slow the pace of economic growth, undoing the employment gains minorities and other disadvantaged groups made during the 1990s. Implicit in such concern is the idea that these groups will be disproportionately affected by an economic slowdown. ; To explore this issue, this article analyzes the effect of exogenous movements in monetary policy and other macroeconomic variables on the overall and black unemployment rates. These exogenous movements are shifts in the federal funds rate not explained by movements in the other variables included in the econometric model estimated here. The analysis focuses on how the implementation of exogenous monetary policy during the 1980s and 1990s affected the black unemployment rate relative to the overall unemployment rate. Results suggest that the black unemployment rate tends to be slightly more responsive to exogenous monetary policy moves than the overall unemployment rate is. However, exogenous monetary policy moves during the 1980s and 1990s did not have significantly more adverse effects on African Americans than on the total population and may even have had positive net effects on African Americans.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (2000)
Issue (Month): Q4 ()
Pages: 1-16

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2000:i:q4:p:1-16:n:v.85no.4

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Keywords: Unemployment ; Labor supply ; Labor turnover;

References

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  1. Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2001. "Assessing simple policy rules: a view from a complete macroeconomic model," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 83-112.
  2. Leeper, Eric M. & Zha, Tao, 2003. "Modest policy interventions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1673-1700, November.
  3. Abowd, John M & Killingsworth, Mark R, 1984. "Do Minority-White Unemployment Differences Really Exist?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(1), pages 64-72, January.
  4. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "Bayesian methods for dynamic multivariate models," Working Paper 96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
  6. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Vector autoregressions: forecasting and reality," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 4-18.
  7. Leslie S. Stratton, 1993. "Racial differences in men's unemployment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 451-463, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Queneau, Hervé & Sen, Amit, 2012. "On the structure of US unemployment disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and gender," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 91-95.
  2. Berument, Hakan & Dogan, Nukhet & Tansel, Aysit, 2008. "Macroeconomic Policy and Unemployment by Economic Activity: Evidence from Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 3461, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Herve Queneau & Amit Sen, 2009. "Regarding the unemployment gap by race and gender in the United States," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2749-2757.

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