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Labor Market Dysfunction During the Great Recession

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  • Kyle F. Herkenhoff
  • Lee E. Ohanian

Abstract

This paper documents the abnormally slow recovery in the labor market during the Great Recession, and analyzes how mortgage modification policies contributed to delayed recovery. By making modifications means-tested by reducing mortgage payments based on a borrower's current income, these programs change the incentive for households to relocate from a relatively poor labor market to a better labor market. We find that modifications raise the unemployment rate by about 0.5 percentage points, and reduce output by about 1 percent, reflecting both lower employment and lower productivity, which is the result of individuals losing skills as unemployment duration is longer.

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle F. Herkenhoff & Lee E. Ohanian, 2011. "Labor Market Dysfunction During the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 17313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17313
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    Cited by:

    1. Kyle Herkenhoff & Lee Ohanian, 2019. "The Impact of Foreclosure Delay on U.S. Employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 63-83, January.
    2. Kyle F Herkenhoff, 2019. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Access on Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(6), pages 2605-2642.
    3. Jan Svejnar & Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2015. "Productivity and Inequality Effects of Rapid Labor Reallocation – Insights from a Meta-Analysis of Studies on Transition," Working Papers 2015-11, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    4. Casey B. Mulligan, 2012. "Do Welfare Policies Matter for Labor Market Aggregates? Quantifying Safety Net Work Incentives since 2007," NBER Working Papers 18088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Gordon Phillips & Kyle Herkenhoff, 2015. "The Impact of Consumer Credit Constraints on Earnings, Sorting, and Job Finding Rates of Displaced Workers," 2015 Meeting Papers 375, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Ohanian, Lee E. & Raffo, Andrea, 2012. "Aggregate hours worked in OECD countries: New measurement and implications for business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 40-56.
    7. Shai Bernstein & Timothy McQuade & Richard R. Townsend, 2017. "Do Household Wealth Shocks Affect Productivity? Evidence from Innovative Workers During the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 24011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Adelino, Manuel & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2013. "Why don't Lenders renegotiate more home mortgages? Redefaults, self-cures and securitization," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 835-853.
    9. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas Velde & Jan Svejnar, 2017. "Effects Of Labor Reallocation On Productivity And Inequality—Insights From Studies On Transition," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 712-732, July.
    10. Kyle Herkenhoff & Lee Ohanian, 2019. "The Impact of Foreclosure Delay on U.S. Employment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 63-83, January.
    11. David Amirault & Naveen Rai, 2016. "Canadian Labour Market Dispersion: Mind the (Shrinking) Gap," Staff Analytical Notes 16-3, Bank of Canada.
    12. Kyle F. Herkenhoff, 2012. "Informal unemployment insurance and labor market dynamics," Working Papers 2012-057, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    13. Edward P. Lazear & James R. Spletzer, 2012. "The United States labor market: status quo or a new normal?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 405-451.
    14. Valletta, Robert G., 2013. "House lock and structural unemployment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 86-97.
    15. Virginie Mamadouh & Luiza Bialasiewicz & Gordon F. Mulligan & Neil Reid & Michael S. Moore, 2016. "The Current Health of Metropolitan Labour Markets in the United States," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 107(2), pages 232-253, April.
    16. Casey B. Mulligan, 2013. "Recent Marginal Labor Income Tax Rate Changes by Skill and Marital Status," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 69-100.
    17. Casey B. Mulligan, 2011. "The Expanding Social Safety Net," NBER Working Papers 17654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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