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Hysteresis via Endogenous Rigidity in Wages and Participation

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Abstract

We document that the past three ?jobless? recoveries also featured asymmetries in labor force participation and labor compensation, with each falling to new lows during each cycle. We model these asymmetries as resulting from a strategic complementarity in firms' wage setting and workers' job search strategies. Strategic complementarity results in a continuum of possible equilibria with higher-wage equilibria welfare dominating lower-wage equilibria. Assuming that no economic agent deviates from an existing strategy unless deviation is a unilateral best response, the model exhibits (1) periods of endogenous rigidity in wages and participation, (2) persistent changes in wages, participation, and output in response to transitory movements in labor productivity, (3) sluggish recoveries including both a ?jobless\" phase, in which productivity recovers while unemployment remains elevated, and a ?wageless\" phase, in which employment recovers but wages remain depressed Calibrating the model suggests that the U.S. unemployment rate may need to fall to around 3 percent before labor compensation recovers to pre-Financial Crisis levels.

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  • Cynthia L. Doniger & J. David López-Salido, 2017. "Hysteresis via Endogenous Rigidity in Wages and Participation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-044, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2017-44
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2017.044r1
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    Cited by:

    1. Baughman, Garth & Rabinovich, Stanislav, 2019. "Self-confirming price dispersion in monetary economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 284-311.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Kinked Labor Supply; Strategic Complementarity; Hysteresis; Real Rigidity; Jobless and Wageless Recovery; Monopsony;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets

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