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Productivity, aggregate demand and unemployment fluctuations

  • Regis Barnichon
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    This paper presents new empirical evidence on the cyclical behavior of US unemployment that poses a challenge to standard search and matching models. The correlation between cyclical unemployment and the cyclical component of labor productivity switched sign at the beginning of the Great Moderation in the mid 80s: from negative it became positive, while standard search models imply a negative correlation. I argue that the inconsistency arises because search models do not allow output to be demand determined in the short run. I present a search model with nominal rigidities that can rationalize the empirical findings, and I document two new facts about the Great Moderation that can account for the large and swift increase in the unemployment-productivity correlation in the mid-80s.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19694/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19694.

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    Length: 60 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19694
    Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
    Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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    1. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Altig, David E & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Lindé, Jesper, 2005. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2002. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1986, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
    5. Mark Bils & Jang-Ok Cho, 1993. "Cyclical factor utilization," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 79, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    6. Blanchard, Olivier & Galí, Jordi, 2006. "A New Keynesian model with unemployment," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/08, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    7. Matthew D. Shapiro & Mark W. Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycle Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Yongsung Chang & Jay H. Hong, 2005. "Do technological improvements in the manufacturing sector raise or lower employment?," Working Paper 05-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    9. Luca Gambetti & Jordi Gal�, 2009. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 26-57, January.
    10. Christopher A. Pissarides & Giovanna Vallanti, 2007. "The Impact Of Tfp Growth On Steady-State Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 607-640, 05.
    11. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
    12. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations; How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," IMF Working Papers 04/234, International Monetary Fund.
    14. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Online Appendix to "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle"," Technical Appendices 09-191, Review of Economic Dynamics.
    15. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 35-65, 02.
    16. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
    17. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
    18. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
    19. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    20. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," NBER Working Papers 9069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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