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Slow Recoveries and Unemployment Traps: Monetary Policy in a Time of Hysteresis

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  • Sushant Acharya
  • Julien Bengui
  • Keshav Dogra
  • Shu Lin Wee

Abstract

We analyse monetary policy in a model where temporary shocks can permanently scar the economy’s productive capacity. Workers lose skill while unemployed and are costly to retrain, generating multiple steady-state unemployment rates. Following a large shock, unless monetary policy acts aggressively and quickly enough to prevent a significant rise in unemployment, hiring falls to a point where the economy recovers slowly at best—at worst, it falls into a permanent unemployment trap. Monetary policy can only avoid these outcomes if it commits in a timely manner to more accommodative policy in the future. Timely commitment is essential as the effectiveness of monetary policy is state dependent: once the recession has left substantial scars, monetary policy cannot speed up a slow recovery, or escape from an unemployment trap.

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  • Sushant Acharya & Julien Bengui & Keshav Dogra & Shu Lin Wee, 2022. "Slow Recoveries and Unemployment Traps: Monetary Policy in a Time of Hysteresis," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(646), pages 2007-2047.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:132:y:2022:i:646:p:2007-2047.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ej/ueac016
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    Cited by:

    1. Garga, Vaishali & Singh, Sanjay R., 2021. "Output hysteresis and optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 871-886.
    2. Simona Malovana & Josef Bajzik & Dominika Ehrenbergerova & Jan Janku, 2020. "A Prolonged Period of Low Interest Rates: Unintended Consequences," Research and Policy Notes 2020/02, Czech National Bank.
    3. Cecion, Martina & Coenen, Günter & Gerke, Rafael & Le Bihan, Hervé & Motto, Roberto & Aguilar, Pablo & Ajevskis, Viktors & Giesen, Sebastian & Albertazzi, Ugo & Gilbert, Niels & Al-Haschimi, Alexander, 2021. "The ECB’s price stability framework: past experience, and current and future challenges," Occasional Paper Series 269, European Central Bank.
    4. Prein, Timm, 2019. "Persistent Unemployment, Sovereign Debt Crises, and the Impact of Haircuts," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203654, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association, revised 2019.
    5. Ross Doppelt, 2019. "Skill Flows: A Theory of Human Capital and Unemployment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 84-122, January.
    6. Abbritti, Mirko & Consolo, Agostino & Weber, Sebastian, 2021. "Endogenous growth, downward wage rigidity and optimal inflation," Working Paper Series 2635, European Central Bank.
    7. Hazell, Jonathon & Taska, Bledi, 2023. "Downward Rigidity in the Wage for New Hires," IZA Discussion Papers 16512, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Consolo, Agostino & Koester, Gerrit & Nickel, Christiane & Porqueddu, Mario & Smets, Frank, 2021. "The need for an inflation buffer in the ECB’s price stability objective – the role of nominal rigidities and inflation differentials," Occasional Paper Series 279, European Central Bank.
    9. Antonio Fatás & Sanjay R. Singh, 2022. "Supply or Demand? Policy Makers' Confusion in the Presence of Hysteresis," Working Papers 347, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    10. Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Tesfaselassie, Mewael F., 2020. "Endogenous growth, skill obsolescence and output hysteresis in a New Keynesian model with unemployment," Kiel Working Papers 2162, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    11. Jonathon Hazell & Bledi Taska, 2020. "Downward Rigidity in the Wage for New Hires," Discussion Papers 2028, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    12. Simona Malovaná & Josef Bajzík & Dominika Ehrenbergerová & Jan Janků, 2023. "A prolonged period of low interest rates in Europe: Unintended consequences," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 526-572, April.
    13. Lechthaler, Wolfgang & Tesfaselassie, Mewael F., 2021. "Endogenous growth, skill obsolescence and fiscal multipliers," Kiel Working Papers 2184, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    14. Donald Coletti, 2023. "A Blueprint for the Fourth Generation of Bank of Canada Projection and Policy Analysis Models," Discussion Papers 2023-23, Bank of Canada.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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