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

Listed author(s):
  • CHRISTOPHER J. ERCEG
  • ANDREW T. LEVIN

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.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jmcb.12151
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Blackwell Publishing in its journal Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Volume (Year): 46 (2014)
Issue (Month): S2 (October)
Pages: 3-49

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jmoncb:v:46:y:2014:i:s2:p:3-49
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2879

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  1. Avichai Snir & Daniel Levy, 2011. "Shrinking Goods and Sticky Prices: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2011-03, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  2. Macunovich, Diane J., 2009. "Reversals in the Patterns of Women's Labor Supply in the U.S., 1976-2009," IZA Discussion Papers 4512, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. John Bound & Timothy Waidmann, 2002. "Accounting for Recent Declines in Employment Rates among Working-Aged Men and Women with Disabilities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 231-250.
  4. Stephanie Aaronson & Bruce Fallick & Andrew Figura & Jonathan Pingle & William Wascher, 2006. "The Recent Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Implications for Potential Labor Supply," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(1), pages 69-154.
  5. Greg Howard & Robert F. Martin & Beth Anne Wilson, 2011. "Are recoveries from banking and financial crises really so different?," International Finance Discussion Papers 1037, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Fernando Rios-Avila, 2012. "A closer look at nonparticipants during and after the Great Recession," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2012-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Kevin J. Fox & Daniel Melser, 2014. "Non-Linear Pricing and Price Indexes: Evidence and Implications from Scanner Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(2), pages 261-278, June.
  8. Willem Van Zandweghe, 2012. "Interpreting the recent decline in labor force participation," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 5-34.
  9. Marianna Kudlyak & Felipe Schwartzman, 2012. "Accounting for unemployment in the Great Recession : nonparticipation matters," Working Paper 12-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  10. Julie L. Hotchkiss & Fernando Rios-Avila, 2013. "Identifying Factors behind the Decline in the U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 3(1), pages 257-275, June.
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