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Do Markets Respond More to More Reliable Labor Market Data? A Test of Market Rationality

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  • Alan B. Krueger

Abstract

Since 1979, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has nearly quadrupled the size of the sample used to estimate monthly employment changes. Although first-reported employment estimates are still noisy, the magnitude of sampling variability has declined in proportion to the increase in the sample size. A model of rational Bayesian updating predicts that investors would assign more weight to the BLS employment survey as it became more precise. However, a regression analysis of changes in interest rates on the day the employment data are released finds no evidence that the bond market's reaction to employment news intensified in the late 1980s or early 1990s. For the time period as a whole, an unexpected increase of 200,000 jobs is associated with an 8 basis point increase in the interest rate on 30 year Treasury bonds, and a 9 basis point increase in the interest rate on 3 month bills, all else equal. Additionally, announced hourly wage increases are associated with higher long-term interest rates rate and revisions to past months' employment estimates have a statistically insignificant effect on long-term interest rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5769.

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Date of creation: Sep 1996
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Publication status: published as Alan B. Krueger & Kenneth N. Fortson, 2003. "Do Markets Respond More to More Reliable Labor Market Data? A Test of Market Rationality," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 931-957, 06.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5769

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  1. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
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  3. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
  4. Charles M. Jones & Owen Lamont & Robin Lumsdaine, 1996. "Public Information and the Persistence of Bond Market Volatility," NBER Working Papers 5446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pearce, Douglas K & Roley, V Vance, 1985. "Stock Prices and Economic News," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 49-67, January.
  6. De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard, 1985. " Does the Stock Market Overreact?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-805, July.
  7. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Schwert, G William, 1981. "The Adjustment of Stock Prices to Information about Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(1), pages 15-29, March.
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  11. John H. Boyd & Jian Hu & Ravi Jagannathan, 2005. "The Stock Market's Reaction to Unemployment News: Why Bad News Is Usually Good for Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 649-672, 04.
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Cited by:
  1. Hautsch, Nikolaus & Hess, Dieter E. & Müller, Christoph, 2008. "Price adjustment to news with uncertain precision," CFR Working Papers 08-04, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  2. Hess, Dieter E., 2003. "Determinants of the relative price impact of unanticipated information in US macroeconomic releases," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 46, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  3. Brenner, Menachem & Pasquariello, Paolo & Subrahmanyam, Marti, 2009. "On the Volatility and Comovement of U.S. Financial Markets around Macroeconomic News Announcements," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(06), pages 1265-1289, December.
  4. Chen, Qi & Francis, Jennifer & Jiang, Wei, 2005. "Investor learning about analyst predictive ability," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 3-24, February.
  5. Michael J. Fleming & Eli M. Remolona, 1997. "What moves the bond market?," Research Paper 9706, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Gilbert, Thomas, 2011. "Information aggregation around macroeconomic announcements: Revisions matter," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 114-131, July.
  7. Laakkonen, Helinä & Lanne, Markku, 2009. "The Relevance of Accuracy for the Impact of Macroeconomic News on Volatility," MPRA Paper 23718, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Moura, Marcelo L. & Gaião, Rafael L., 2014. "Impact of macroeconomic surprises on the Brazilian yield curve and expected inflation," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 114-144.
  9. Douch, Mohamed & Bouaddi, Mohammed, 2010. "EQUITY Premium Puzzle in a Data-Rich Environment," MPRA Paper 29440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. John H. Boyd & Ravi Jagannathan & Jian Hu, 2001. "The Stock Market's Reaction to Unemployment News: Why Bad News is Usually Good for Stocks," NBER Working Papers 8092, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Norbert Funke & Akimi Matsuda, 2006. "Macroeconomic News and Stock Returns in the United States and Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7, pages 189-210, 05.
  12. Engle, Robert F, 1998. "Macroeconomic Announcements and Volatility of Treasury Futures," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt7rd4g3bk, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  13. Ramchander, Sanjay & Simpson, Marc W. & Chaudhry, Mukesh K., 2005. "The influence of macroeconomic news on term and quality spreads," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 84-102, February.

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