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Escaping Unemployment Traps

Author

Listed:
  • Sushant Acharya

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Julien Bengui

    (Université de Montréal)

  • Keshav Dogra

    (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

  • Shu Lin Wee

    (Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business)

Abstract

We present a model in which temporary shocks can permanently scar the economy's productive capacity. Unemployed workers lose skill and are expensive to re-train, generating multiple steady state unemployment rates. Large temporary shocks push the economy into a liquidity trap, generating deflation. With nominal wages unable to adjust freely, real wages rise, reducing hiring and catapulting the economy towards the high-unemployment steady state. Even after a short-lived liquidity trap, the economy recovers slowly at best; at worst, it falls into a permanent unemployment trap. Because monetary policy may be powerless to escape such a trap ex-post, it is especially important to avoid it ex-ante: policy should be preventive rather than curative. The model can quantitatively account for the slow recovery in the U.S. following the Great Recession. The model also suggests that lack of swift monetary accommodation by the ECB can help explain stagnation in the European periphery.

Suggested Citation

  • Sushant Acharya & Julien Bengui & Keshav Dogra & Shu Lin Wee, 2018. "Escaping Unemployment Traps," 2018 Meeting Papers 543, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed018:543
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Abdoulaye Millogo & Jean-François Rouillard, 2019. "Missing Disinflation and Human Capital Depreciation," Cahiers de recherche 19-03, Departement d'économique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke, revised Oct 2020.

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    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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