IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tin/wpaper/20090063.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Imperfect Information, Lagged Labor Adjustment and the Great Moderation

Author

Listed:
  • Tim Willems

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Sweder van Wijnbergen

    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

This discussion paper resulted in a publication in the 'Oxford Economic Papers-New Series' , 2013, 65(2), 219-239. This paper first documents the increase in the time lag with which labor input reacts to output fluctuations ("the labor adjustment lag") that is visible in US data since the mid-1980s. We show that a lagged labor adjustment response is optimal in a setting where there is uncertainty about the persistence of shocks and where labor input is costly to adjust. We then present evidence that both the nature of shocks as well as labor adjustment costs may have changed during the 1980s in a direction that could explain the observed increase in the lag. Finally, we argue that the increased labor adjustment lag has the potential to explain some macroeconomic puzzles that characterize post-1984 US data, such as the reduced procyclicality of labor productivity and the reduction in output volatility (known as the Great Moderation).

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Willems & Sweder van Wijnbergen, 2009. "Imperfect Information, Lagged Labor Adjustment and the Great Moderation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-063/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 18 Apr 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20090063
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://papers.tinbergen.nl/09063.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Y. Campbell & Martin Lettau & Burton G. Malkiel & Yexiao Xu, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 1-43, February.
    2. Manuel Amador & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2010. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(5), pages 866-907.
    3. Mark Gertler & Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari, 2008. "An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1713-1764, December.
    4. Erica L. Groshen & Simon M. Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
    5. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    6. Luca Gambetti & Jordi Galí, 2009. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 26-57, January.
    7. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
    8. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
    9. Antonello D'Agostino & Domenico Giannone & Paolo Surico, 2005. "(Un)Predictability and Macroeconomic Stability," Macroeconomics 0510024, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Jamie Peck & Nik Theodore, 2007. "Flexible recession: the temporary staffing industry and mediated work in the United States," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 171-192, March.
    11. Beaulieu, J Joseph & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1992. "A Cross Country Comparison of Seasonal Cycles and Business Cycles," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 772-788, July.
    12. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2009. "Volatility Accounting: A Production Perspective on Increased Economic Stability," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 671-696, June.
    13. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Neville Francis & Valerie A. Ramey, 2009. "Measures of per Capita Hours and Their Implications for the Technology-Hours Debate," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1071-1097, September.
    15. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2005. "Understanding Changes In International Business Cycle Dynamics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 968-1006, September.
    16. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, September.
    17. Jacob Wong, 2008. "Information acquisition, dissemination, and transparency of monetary policy," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(1), pages 46-79, February.
    18. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
    19. Daniel Aaronson & Ellen R. Rissman & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2004. "Can sectoral reallocation explain the jobless recovery?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, vol. 28(Q II), pages 36-39.
    20. Kathryn Koenders & Richard Rogerson, 2005. "Organizational dynamics over the business cycle: a view on jobless recoveries," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 87(Jul), pages 555-580.
    21. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 1994. "Unemployment insurance taxes and the cyclical and seasonal properties of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-29, January.
    22. Dowrick, Steve, 1989. "Union-Oligopoly Bargaining," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1123-1142, December.
    23. Peter Tulip, 2005. "Has output become more predictable? changes in Greenbook forecast accuracy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    24. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2005. "Central Bank Transparency and the Signal Value of Prices," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(2), pages 1-66.
    25. Scott Schuh, 2001. "An evaluation of recent macroeconomic forecast errors," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 35-56.
    26. Wen Yi, 2004. "What Does It Take to Explain Procyclical Productivity?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-40, June.
    27. David H. Autor & William R. Kerr & Adriana D. Kugler, 2007. "Does Employment Protection Reduce Productivity? Evidence From US States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 189-217, June.
    28. Campbell, Sean D., 2007. "Macroeconomic Volatility, Predictability, and Uncertainty in the Great Moderation: Evidence From the Survey of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 191-200, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Y. Mathä & Stephen Millard & Tairi Rõõm & Ladislav Wintr & Robert Wyszynski, 2019. "Shocks and labour cost adjustment: Evidence from a survey of European firms," BCL working papers 128, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    2. Kevin x.d. Huang & Jie Chen & Zhe Li & Jianfei Sun, 2014. "Financial Conditions and Slow Recoveries," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 14-00004, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    3. Tim Willems, 2010. "Labor Market Matching under Imperfect Information," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-098/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 13 May 2011.
    4. Michael W. L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin, 2010. "The Labor Market in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 1-69.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    2. Faberman, R. Jason, 2017. "Job flows, jobless recoveries, and the Great Moderation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 152-170.
    3. Andrea Vindigni & Simone Scotti & Cristina Tealdi, 2015. "Uncertainty and the Politics of Employment Protection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 209-267.
    4. Rujin, Svetlana, 2019. "What are the effects of technology shocks on international labor markets?," Ruhr Economic Papers 806, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    5. Ko, Jun-Hyung & Murase, Koichi, 2013. "Great Moderation in the Japanese economy," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 10-24.
    6. Michael W. L. Elsby & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin, 2010. "The Labor Market in the Great Recession," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 1-69.
    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. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:2985-3028 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Cantore, Cristiano & Ferroni, Filippo & León-Ledesma, Miguel A., 2017. "The dynamics of hours worked and technology," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 67-82.
    10. Francesco Nucci & Marianna Riggi, 2011. "Performance pay and shifts in macroeconomic correlations," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 800, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    11. David Berger, 2012. "Countercyclical Restructuring and Jobless Recoveries," 2012 Meeting Papers 1179, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Consolo, Agostino & Hertweck, Matthias S., 2010. "Shocks and frictions under right-to-manage wage bargaining: a transatlantic perspective," Working papers 2010/01, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    13. Kevin x.d. Huang & Jie Chen & Zhe Li & Jianfei Sun, 2014. "Financial Conditions and Slow Recoveries," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 14-00004, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    14. N. Bloom., 2016. "Fluctuations in uncertainty," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    15. Galí, Jordi, 2010. "Monetary Policy and Unemployment," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 10, pages 487-546, Elsevier.
    16. Giovanni Gallipoli & Gianluigi Pelloni, 2013. "Macroeconomic Effects of Job Reallocations: A Survey," Review of Economic Analysis, Digital Initiatives at the University of Waterloo Library, vol. 5(2), pages 127-176, December.
    17. Magnus Reif, 2020. "Macroeconomics, Nonlinearities, and the Business Cycle," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 87, December.
    18. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and Micro Levels," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 155-180, Fall.
    19. Bart Hobijn & Ayşegül Şahin, 2013. "Firms And Flexibility," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 922-940, January.
    20. Cesa-Bianchi, Ambrogio & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Rebucci, Alessandro, 2014. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: A Global Perspective," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6605, Inter-American Development Bank.
    21. Jinzhu Chen & Prakash Kannan & Prakash Loungani & Bharat Trehan, 2012. "New evidence on cyclical and structural sources of unemployment," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue March, pages 1-23.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    imperfect information; labor adjustment; jobless growth; option value of waiting; Great Moderation;
    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
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20090063. 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: (Tinbergen Office +31 (0)10-4088900). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/tinbenl.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.