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Labor Force Participation and Monetary Policy in the Wake of the Great Recession

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  • CHRISTOPHER J. ERCEG
  • ANDREW T. LEVIN

Abstract

This paper provides compelling evidence that cyclical factors account for the bulk of the post‐2007 decline in the U.S. labor force participation rate (LFPR). We then formulate a stylized New Keynesian model in which the LFPR is practically acyclical during “normal times” but drops markedly following a large and persistent aggregate demand shock. These considerations have potentially crucial implications for the design of monetary policy, especially when interest rate adjustments are constrained by the zero lower bound; specifically, monetary policy can induce a more rapid recovery of the LFPR by allowing the unemployment rate to fall below its natural rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2014. "Labor Force Participation and Monetary Policy in the Wake of the Great Recession," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(S2), pages 3-49, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jmoncb:v:46:y:2014:i:s2:p:3-49
    DOI: 10.1111/jmcb.12151
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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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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