Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The cost of fiscal policy uncertainty: industry evidence of its impact on the labor market

Contents:

Author Info

  • Wang, J. Christina

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The anemic pace of the recovery of the U.S. economy from the Great Recession has frequently been blamed on heightened uncertainty, much of which concerns the nation's fiscal policy. Intuition suggests that increased policy uncertainty likely has different impacts on industries with different exposure to government actions. Such heterogeneity can help identify the effect of shocks due to policy uncertainty. This study uses industry data to explore whether policy uncertainty indeed affects the dynamics of employment during this recovery, and particularly whether it has a differential impact on employment across industries. This analysis focuses on heterogeneity across industries in terms of the fraction of their product demand that can ultimately be attributed to federal government expenditures. The estimation results reveal that policy uncertainty indeed retards employment growth more in industries that rely more heavily on federal government demand: the growth rate in the number of production employees in these industries appears to have been four-tenths of a percentage point lower during the quarters in recent years when policy uncertainty spiked. A similar impact is found for the growth of total employment, which also includes nonproduction employees. In addition, the evidence suggests that increased policy uncertainty renders firms more reluctant to adjust the number of employees in response to changes in output, a contributing factor to the sluggish recovery in employment. Moreover, this damping effect is stronger for industries with higher shares of output sold directly and indirectly to the federal government. By comparison, the adverse effect of heightened policy uncertainty on average weekly hours differs little across industries.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2013/wp1322.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 13-22.

    as in new window
    Length: 73 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Dec 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:13-22

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 600 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02210
    Phone: 617-973-3397
    Fax: 617-973-4221
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.bos.frb.org/
    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information:
    Email:

    Related research

    Keywords: uncertainty; fiscal policy; input-output tables; industry accounts; employment; hours;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992. "Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "A simple panel unit root test in the presence of cross-section dependence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 265-312.
    3. Daniel J. Vine & Valerie A. Ramey, 2006. "Declining Volatility in the U.S. Automobile Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1876-1889, December.
    4. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2002. "Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity," CeMMAP working papers CWP18/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
    7. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
    8. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2006. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 967-1012, 07.
    9. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2012. "Uncertainty shocks in a model of effective demand," Working Papers 12-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    10. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:13-22. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Catherine Spozio).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.