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Unemployment and Productivity in the Long Run: the Role of Macroeconomic Volatility

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  • Pierpaolo Benigno
  • Paolo Surico
  • Mr. Luca A Ricci

Abstract

We propose a theory of low-frequency movements in unemployment based on asymmetric real wage rigidities. The theory generates two main predictions: long-run unemployment increases with (i) a fall in long-run productivity growth and (ii) a rise in the variance of productivity growth. Evidence based on U.S. time series and on an international panel strongly supports these predictions. The empirical specifications featuring the variance of productivity growth can account for two U.S. episodes which a linear model based only on long-run productivity growth cannot fully explain. These are the decline in long-run unemployment over the 1980s and its rise during the late 2000s.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierpaolo Benigno & Paolo Surico & Mr. Luca A Ricci, 2010. "Unemployment and Productivity in the Long Run: the Role of Macroeconomic Volatility," IMF Working Papers 2010/259, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2010/259
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    Cited by:

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    2. Freund, Lukas & Rendahl, Pontus, 2020. "Unexpected Effects: Uncertainty, Unemployment, and Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 14690, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Stefano, Fasani, 2016. "Long-run Unemployment and Macroeconomic Volatility," Working Papers 352, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 18 Oct 2016.
    4. Mutascu, Mihai & Sokic, Alexandre, 2021. "Okun's law in the US: New insights in time and frequency," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 207-222.
    5. Philippe Mueller & Andrea Vedolin & Hao Zhou, 2019. "Short-Run Bond Risk Premia," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(03), pages 1-34, September.
    6. Barbara Annicchiarico & Alessandra Pelloni, 2014. "Productivity growth and volatility: how important are wage and price rigidities?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 306-324, January.
    7. Ferraresi Tommaso & Roventini Andrea & Semmler Willi, 2019. "Macroeconomic Regimes, Technological Shocks and Employment Dynamics," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 239(4), pages 599-625, August.
    8. Francesco Zanetti & Konstantinos Theodoridis, 2018. "State Dependence in Labor Market Fluctuations: Evidence, Theory, and Policy Implications," Economics Series Working Papers 856, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Renato Faccini & Leonardo Melosi, 2022. "Pigouvian Cycles," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 281-318, April.
    10. Francesco Furlanetto & Ørjan Robstad & Pål Ulvedal & Antoine Lepetit, 2020. "Estimating hysteresis effects," Working Paper 2020/13, Norges Bank.
    11. Andrew Snell & Heiko Stuber & Jonathan Thomas, 2018. "Downward Real Wage Rigidity and Equal Treatment Wage Contracts: Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 265-284, October.
    12. Carlo Pizzinelli & Konstantinos Theodoridis & Francesco Zanetti, 2020. "State Dependence In Labor Market Fluctuations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1027-1072, August.
    13. Sam Hak Kan Tang, 2018. "Does Scientific And Technical Research Reduce Macroeconomic Volatility?," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 68-88, January.
    14. Raurich, Xavier & Sorolla, Valeri, 2014. "Growth, unemployment and wage inertia," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 42-59.
    15. Giraitis, L. & Kapetanios, G. & Yates, T., 2014. "Inference on stochastic time-varying coefficient models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 179(1), pages 46-65.
    16. Antoine Lepetit, 2020. "Asymmetric Unemployment Fluctuations and Monetary Policy Trade-Offs," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 36, pages 29-45, April.
    17. Luigi Bocola & Nils Gornemann, 2013. "Risk, economic growth and the value of U.S. corporations," Working Papers 13-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    18. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/2beljp6noq9u6oh9p9agr8ugra is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Kargı, Bilal, 2014. "The Data of Labor Market in Turkey and Time Series Analysis on Economic Growth (2000:01-2013:03)," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 98-102.
    20. Renato Faccini & Leonardo Melosi, 2018. "The Role of News about TFP in U.S. Recessions and Booms," Working Paper Series WP-2018-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    21. Philippe Mueller & Andrea Vedolin & Hao Zhou, 2011. "Short Run Bond Risk Premia," FMG Discussion Papers dp686, Financial Markets Group.
    22. Antonio Ribba, 2017. "What Drives US Inflation and Unemployment in the Long Run?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(2), pages 765-777.
    23. Antonio Ribba, 2016. "Productivity Growth Shocks and Unemployment in the Postwar US Economy," Department of Economics 0077, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    24. Sara Boni & Francesco Ravazzolo, 2022. "A Structural Analysis of Unemployment-Generating Supply Shocks with an Application to the US Pharmaceutical Industry," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS94, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    25. Aurelijus Dabušinskas & Dmitry Kulikov & Martti Randveer, 2013. "The impact of volatility on economic growth," Bank of Estonia Working Papers wp2012-7, Bank of Estonia, revised 04 Feb 2013.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    WP; productivity growth;

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General

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