IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment

Listed author(s):
  • Pascal Michaillat
  • Emmanuel Saez

This paper develops a model of unemployment fluctuations. The model keeps the architecture of the general-disequilibrium model of Barro and Grossman (1971) but takes a matching approach to the labor and product markets instead of a disequilibrium approach. On the product and labor markets, both price and tightness adjust to equalize supply and demand. Since there are two equilibrium variables but only one equilibrium condition on each market, a price mechanism is needed to select an equilibrium. We focus on two polar mechanisms: fixed prices and competitive prices. When prices are fixed, aggregate demand affects unemployment: with a higher aggregate demand, firms find more customers; this reduces the idle time of their employees and thus increases their labor demand; and this reduces unemployment. We combine the predictions of the model and empirical measures of product market tightness, labor market tightness, output, and employment to assess the sources of labor market fluctuations in the US. First, we find that the product market and labor market tightnesses fluctuate a lot, which implies that the fixed-price equilibrium describes the data better than the competitive-price equilibrium. Next, we find that labor market tightness and employment are positively correlated, which suggests that labor market fluctuations are mostly due to labor demand shocks and not to labor supply or mismatch shocks. Last, we find that product market tightness and output are positively correlated, which suggests that the labor demand shocks mostly reflect aggregate demand shocks and not technology shocks.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18826.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18826.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Publication status: published as Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2015. "Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 507-569.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18826
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Susanto Basu, 1995. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," NBER Working Papers 5336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fabrizio Perri & Jonathan Heathcote, 2012. "Wealth and Volatility," 2012 Meeting Papers 914, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Greg Kaplan & Guido Menzio, 2013. "Shopping Externalities and Self-Fulfilling Unemployment Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 18777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Loupias, C. & Ricart, R., 2004. "Price Setting in France: new Evidence from Survey Data," Working papers 120, Banque de France.
  5. John Shea, 1998. "What Do Technology Shocks Do?," NBER Working Papers 6632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Landais, Camille & Michaillat, Pascal & Saez, Emmanuel, 2010. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 8132, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Patrick Lünnemann & Thomas Mathä, 2006. "New survey evidence on the pricing behaviour of Luxembourg firms," BCL working papers 19, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
  8. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2016. "The Slow Growth of New Plants: Learning about Demand?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(329), pages 91-129, 01.
  9. Josef Baumgartner & Claudia Kwapil & Johann Scharler, 2005. "The Price-Setting Behavior of Austrian Firms: Some Survey Evidence," Working Papers 100, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  10. Ayşegül Şahin & Joseph Song & Giorgio Topa & Giovanni L. Violante, 2012. "Mismatch Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 18265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ven Der Linden B. & Lehmann E., 2006. "Search Frictions on Product and Labor markets," Working Papers ERMES 0604, ERMES, University Paris 2.
  12. Apel, Mikael & Friberg, Richard & Hallsten, Kerstin, 2001. "Micro Foundations of Macroeconomic Price Adjustment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Firms," Working Paper Series 128, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  13. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Paul Krugman, 2012. "Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1469-1513.
  14. Galí, Jordi & van Rens, Thijs, 2010. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Kiel Working Papers 1641, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  15. Luc Aucremanne & Martine Druant, 2005. "Price-setting behaviour in Belgium: what can be learned from an ad hoc survey ?," Working Paper Research 65, National Bank of Belgium.
  16. Petrosky-Nadeau, Nicolas & Wasmer, Etienne, 2015. "Macroeconomic dynamics in a model of goods, labor, and credit market frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 97-113.
  17. Jesse Rothstein, 2011. "Unemployment Insurance and Job Search in the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 17534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Álvarez, Luis J. & Hernando, Ignacio, 2005. "The price setting behaviour of Spanish firms: evidence from survey data," Working Paper Series 0538, European Central Bank.
  19. Lehmann, Etienne & Van der Linden, Bruno, 2007. "Search Frictions on Product and Labor Markets: Money in the Matching Function," IZA Discussion Papers 2718, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-690, September.
  21. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
  22. Arthur J. Hosios, 1990. "On The Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 279-298.
  23. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Can Government Purchases Stimulate the Economy?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 673-685, September.
  24. Pascal Michaillat, 2012. "Do Matching Frictions Explain Unemployment? Not in Bad Times," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1721-1750, June.
  25. Barro, Robert J & Grossman, Herschel I, 1971. "A General Disequilibrium Model of Income and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 82-93, March.
  26. Edward C. Prescott, 2006. "The Transformation of Macroeconomic Policy and Research," The American Economist, , vol. 50(1), pages 3-20, March.
  27. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/5l6uh8ogmqildh09h481l2tb5 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Evans, Charles L., 1992. "Productivity shocks and real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 191-208, April.
  29. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1990. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 3556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, September.
  31. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-666, September.
  32. Edward C. Prescott, 2006. "Nobel Lecture: The Transformation of Macroeconomic Policy and Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 203-235, April.
  33. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2006. "Labor markets and monetary policy: A new-Keynesian model with unemployement," Economics Working Papers 1076, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2008.
  34. Miles S. Kimball & John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 2006. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1418-1448, December.
  35. James D. Montgomery, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-179.
  36. Roger E. A. Farmer, 2007. "Aggregate Demand and Supply," NBER Working Papers 13406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Paul Klemperer, 1987. "Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 375-394.
  38. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-979, December.
  39. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew weinzierl, 2011. "An Exploration of Optimal Stabilization Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(1 (Spring), pages 209-272.
  40. Pascal Michaillat, 2012. "A theory of countercyclical government multiplier," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54277, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  41. repec:pri:cepsud:234kaplan is not listed on IDEAS
  42. Aucremanne, Luc & Druant, Martine, 2005. "Price-setting behaviour in Belgium: what can be learned from an ad hoc survey?," Working Paper Series 0448, European Central Bank.
  43. Oliver Hart, 1982. "A Model of Imperfect Competition with Keynesian Features," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(1), pages 109-138.
  44. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:43:y:2011:i:2011-02:p:143-213 is not listed on IDEAS
  45. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  46. Nakamura, Emi & Steinsson, Jón, 2011. "Price setting in forward-looking customer markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 220-233.
  47. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  48. Norman J. Morin & John J. Stevens, 2004. "Estimating capacity utilization from survey data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  49. Martins, Fernando, 2005. "The price setting behaviour of Portuguese firms: evidence from survey data," Working Paper Series 0562, European Central Bank.
  50. Atif R. Mian & Amir Sufi, 2012. "What explains high unemployment? The aggregate demand channel," NBER Working Papers 17830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. Fabiani, Silvia & Gattulli, Angela & Sabbatini, Roberto, 2004. "The pricing behaviour of Italian firms: new survey evidence on price stickiness," Working Paper Series 0333, European Central Bank.
  52. Drazen, Allan, 1980. "Recent Developments in Macroeconomic Disequilibrium Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 283-306, March.
  53. Hall, Simon & Walsh, Mark & Yates, Anthony, 2000. "Are UK Companies' Prices Sticky?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 425-446, July.
  54. Robert Shimer, 2010. "Labor Markets and Business Cycles," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9217.
  55. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  56. 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.
  57. Robert E. Hall, 1980. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 0560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  58. Rachel E. Kranton & Deborah F. Minehart, 2001. "A Theory of Buyer-Seller Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 485-508, June.
  59. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
  60. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1977. " The Logic of the Fix-price Method," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(2), pages 169-186.
  61. Camille Landais & Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "A Macroeconomic Theory of Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 16526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  62. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  63. Klemperer, Paul D, 1987. "Entry Deterrence in Markets with Consumer Switching Costs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388a), pages 99-117, Supplemen.
  64. Mark Bils, 1989. "Pricing in a Customer Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 699-718.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18826. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.