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Bad Jobs and Low Inflation

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Abstract

The low rate of inflation observed in the U.S. over the entire past decade is hard to reconcile with traditional measures of labor market slack. We show that an alternative notion of slack that encompasses workers' propensity to search on the job explains this missing inflation. We derive this novel concept of slack from a model in which a drop in the on-the-job search rate lowers the intensity of interfirm wage competition to retain or hire workers. The on-the-job search rate can be measured directly from aggregate labor-market flows and is countercyclical. Its recent drop is corroborated by micro data.

Suggested Citation

  • Renato Faccini & Leonardo Melosi, 2020. "Bad Jobs and Low Inflation," Working Paper Series WP-2020-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, revised 09 Feb 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:92757
    DOI: 10.21033/wp-2020-09
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    1. Bad Jobs and Low Inflation
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2019-10-19 20:21:04

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    Cited by:

    1. Cynthia L. Doniger, 2021. "What Can We Learn from Asynchronous Wage Changes?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-055r1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 31 Mar 2022.
    2. Gregor Boehl & Philipp Lieberknecht, 2021. "The Hockey Stick Phillips Curve and the Zero Lower Bound," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2021_266, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    3. Richard Ashley & Randal Verbrugge, 2019. "Finding a Stable Phillips Curve Relationship: A Persistence-Dependent Regression Mode," Working Papers 19-09R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 08 Apr 2020.
    4. R. Jason Faberman & Andreas I. Mueller & Ayşegül Şahin* & Giorgio Topa, 2020. "The Shadow Margins of Labor Market Slack," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 52(S2), pages 355-391, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Missing inflation; on-the-job search; employment-to-employment rate; labor market slack; Phillips curve; cyclical misallocation; micro data; heterogeneous agents;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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