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Debt Constraints and Employment

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  • Patrick J. Kehoe
  • Virgiliu Midrigan
  • Elena Pastorino

Abstract

During the Great Recession, US regions that experienced large declines in household debt also experienced large drops in consumption, employment, and wages. We develop a search and matching model in which tighter debt constraints raise the cost of investing in new job vacancies and so reduce job-finding rates and employment. On-the-job human capital accumulation is critical to generating sizable drops in employment: it increases the duration of the benefit flows from posting vacancies, thereby amplifying the employment drop from a credit tightening 10-fold relative to the standard model. Our model reproduces the salient cross-regional features of the US Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan & Elena Pastorino, 2019. "Debt Constraints and Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1926-1991.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/701608
    DOI: 10.1086/701608
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Debt Constraints and Unemployment
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2015-03-23 09:29:05

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    Cited by:

    1. Luisito Bertinelli & Olivier Cardi & Romain Restout, 2015. "Technical Change Biased Toward the Traded Sector and Labor Market Frictions," Working Papers halshs-01252508, HAL.
    2. Leibovici, Fernando & Waugh, Michael E., 2019. "International trade and intertemporal substitution," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 158-174.
    3. Niklas Engbom, 2019. "Application Cycles," 2019 Meeting Papers 1170, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Edouard Challe & Julien Matheron & Xavier Ragot & Juan F. Rubio‐Ramirez, 2017. "Precautionary saving and aggregate demand," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(2), pages 435-478, July.
    5. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan & Elena Pastorino, 2018. "Evolution of Modern Business Cycle Models: Accounting for the Great Recession," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 141-166, Summer.
    6. Patrick Kehoe & Pierlauro Lopez & Virgiliu Midrigan & Elena Pastorino, 2020. "On the Importance of Household versus Firm Credit Frictions in the Great Recession," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 34-67, August.
    7. Stefania Albanesi, 2016. "Credit Growth and the Financial Crisis: A New Narrative," 2016 Meeting Papers 575, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Kyle Herkenhoff, 2016. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Employment, Earnings and Entrepreneurship," 2016 Meeting Papers 781, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Neele Balke, 2018. "The Employment Cost of Sovereign Default," 2018 Meeting Papers 1256, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Benjamin Wild Pugsley & Ay’egul ahin, 2019. "Grown-up Business Cycles," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 32(3), pages 1102-1147.
    11. Abdoulaye Millogo & Jean-François Rouillard, 2019. "Missing Disinflation and Human Capital Depreciation," Cahiers de recherche 19-03, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    12. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2016. "A Simple Model of Subprime Borrowers and Credit Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 543-547, May.
    13. Patrick Kehoe & Elena Pastorino & Pierlauro Lopez & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2018. "Asset Prices and Unemployment Fluctuations," 2018 Meeting Papers 1119, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. J. Paolo Martellini & Guido Menzio & Ludo Visschers, 2019. "Revisiting the Hypothesis of High Discounts and High Unemployment," PIER Working Paper Archive 19-011, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    15. van Binsbergen, Jules H. & Koijen, Ralph S.J., 2017. "The term structure of returns: Facts and theory," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 1-21.
    16. Alan Finkelstein Shapiro & Maria Olivero, 2018. "Lending Relationships and Labor Market Dynamics," 2018 Meeting Papers 1113, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Marieke Bos & Emily Breza & Andres Liberman, 2018. "The Labor Market Effects of Credit Market Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(6), pages 2005-2037.
    18. Dmitriy Sergeyev & Neil Mehrotra, 2015. "Financial Shocks and Job Flows," 2015 Meeting Papers 520, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Patrick J. Kehoe & Virgiliu Midrigan & Elena Pastorino, 2017. "On the Importance of Easing Consumer Credit Frictions," Economic Policy Paper 17-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    20. David P. Glancy, 2017. "Housing Bust, Bank Lending & Employment : Evidence from Multimarket Banks," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    21. Guerrieri, V. & Uhlig, H., 2016. "Housing and Credit Markets," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.),Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1427-1496, Elsevier.
    22. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2018. "On the Job Search and Business Cycles," IZA Discussion Papers 11853, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    23. Robert E. Hall, 2017. "High Discounts and High Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(2), pages 305-330, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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