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Revisiting the Hypothesis of High Discounts and High Unemployment

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  • J. Paolo Martellini

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Guido Menzio

    (Department of Economics, New York University)

  • Ludo Visschers

    (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh)

Abstract

We revisit the hypothesis that labor market ?uctuations are driven by shocks to the discount rate. Using a model in which the UE and the EU rates are endogenous, we show that an increase in the discount rate leads to a decline in both the UE and the EU rates. In the data, though, the UE and EU rates move against each other at business cycle frequency. Using a lifecycle model with human capital accumulation on the job, we show that an increase in the discount rate does indeed lead to a decline in the aggregate UE rate and to an increase in the aggregate EU rate. However, the decline in the UE rate is larger for younger workers than for older workers and the EU rate increases only for younger workers. In the data, ?uctuations in the UE and EU rates at the business cycle frequency are nearly identical across age groups.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Paolo Martellini & Guido Menzio & Ludo Visschers, 2019. "Revisiting the Hypothesis of High Discounts and High Unemployment," PIER Working Paper Archive 19-011, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:19-011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Björn Brügemann, 2021. "Invariance of Unemployment and Vacancy Dynamics with Respect to Diminishing Returns to Labor at the Firm Level," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 21-034/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Victoria Gregory & Guido Menzio & David G. Wiczer, 2021. "The Alpha Beta Gamma of the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 28663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Malak Kandoussi & François Langot, 2021. "On the heterogeneous impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on US unemployment," TEPP Working Paper 2021-01, TEPP.
    5. Clymo, Alex, 2020. "Discounts, rationing, and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    6. Dou, Winston Wei & Ji, Yan & Wu, Wei, 2021. "Competition, profitability, and discount rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 582-620.
    7. Singh, Aarti & Suda, Jacek & Zervou, Anastasia, 2021. "Heterogeneous labour market response to monetary policy: small versus large firms," Working Papers 2021-07, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised Nov 2021.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment Fluctuations; Discount Rate; Human Capital; Lifecycle Earnings;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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