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Jel Classification:J64 

Working Paper
A Quantitative Theory of Time-Consistent Unemployment Insurance

During recessions, the U.S. government substantially increases the duration of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits through multiple extensions. This paper seeks to understand the incentives driving these increases. Because of the trade-off between insurance and job search incentives, the classic time-inconsistency problem arises. During recessions, the U.S. government substantially increases the duration of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits through multiple extensions. This paper seeks to understand the incentives driving these extensions. Because of the trade-off between insurance and ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2016-11

Working Paper
Job Heterogeneity and Aggregate Labor Market Fluctuations

This paper disciplines a model with search over match quality using microeconomic evidence on worker mobility patterns and wage dynamics. In addition to capturing these individual data, the model provides an explanation for aggregate labor market patterns. Poor match quality among first jobs implies large fluctuations in unemployment due to a responsive job destruction margin. Endogenous job destruction generates a burst of layoffs at the onset of a recession and, together with on-the-job search, generates a negative comovement between unemployment and vacancies. A significant job ladder, ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-04

Working Paper
Job-Finding and Job-Losing: A Comprehensive Model of Heterogeneous Individual Labor-Market Dynamics

We study the paths over time that individuals follow in the labor market, as revealed in the monthly Current Population Survey. Some people face much higher flow values from work than in a non-market activity; if they lose a job, they find another soon. Others have close to equal flow values and tend to circle through jobs, search, and non-market activities. And yet others have flow values for non-market activities that are higher than those in the market, and do not work. We develop a model that identifies and quantifies heterogeneity in dynamic individual behavior. Our model provides a ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2019-5

Micro and Macro Effects of UI Policies: Evidence from Missouri

We develop a method to jointly measure the response of worker search effort (micro effect) and vacancy creation (macro effect) to changes in the duration of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. To implement this approach, we exploit an unexpected cut in UI durations in Missouri and provide quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of UI on the labor market. The data indicate that the cut in Missouri significantly increased job finding rates by both raising the search effort of unemployed workers and the availability of jobs. The latter accounts for at least one half of the total effect.
Staff Reports , Paper 905

Working Paper
Racial Gaps in Labor Market Outcomes in the Last Four Decades and over the Business Cycle

We examine racial disparities in key labor market outcomes for men and women over the past four decades, with a special emphasis on their evolution over the business cycle. Blacks have substantially higher and more cyclical unemployment rates than whites, and observable characteristics can explain very little of this differential, which is importantly driven by a comparatively higher risk of job loss. In contrast, the Hispanic-white unemployment rate gap is comparatively small and is largely explained by lower educational attainment of (mostly foreign-born) Hispanics. Regarding labor force ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2017-071

Working Paper
How Should Unemployment Insurance Vary over the Business Cycle?

We study optimal unemployment insurance (UI) over the business cycle using a heterogeneous agent job search model with aggregate risk and incomplete markets. We validate the model-implied micro and macro labor market elasticities to changes in UI generosity against existing estimates, and provide an explanation for divergent empirical findings. We show that generating the observed demographic differences between UI recipients and non-recipients is critical in determining the magnitudes of these elasticities. We find that the optimal policy features countercyclical replacement rates with ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-022

Working Paper
UI Generosity and Job Acceptance: Effects of the 2020 CARES Act

To provide economic relief following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. CARES Act granted an extra $600 per week in unemployment insurance (UI) benefit payments from late March through July 2020. This unprecedented increase in UI generosity caused weekly benefit payments to exceed prior earnings for most recipients, raising concern that many would be unwilling to accept job offers, slowing the labor market recovery. To assess the impact of the UI supplement, we analyze the job acceptance decision in a dynamic framework in which job seekers weigh the value of a job against remaining ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2021-13

Working Paper
Modeling Labor Markets in Macroeconomics: Search and Matching

We present and discuss the simple search and matching model of the labor market against the background of developments in modern macroeconomics. We derive a simple representation of the model in a general equilibrium context and how the model can be used to analyze various policy issues in labor markets and monetary policy.
Working Paper , Paper 14-19

Working Paper
Job-to-Job Flows and the Consequences of Job Separations

A substantial empirical literature documents large and persistent average earnings losses following job displacement. Our paper extends the literature on displaced workers by providing a comprehensive picture of earnings and employment outcomes for all workers who separate. We show that for workers not recalled to their previous employer, earnings losses follow separations in general, as opposed to displacements in particular. The key predictor of earnings losses is not displacement but the length of the nonemployment spell following job separation. Moreover, displaced workers are no more ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-27

Working Paper
Did Racially Motivated Labor Policy Reverse Equality Gains for Everyone?

Labor protection policies in the 1950s and 1960s helped many low- and middle-wage white workers in the United States achieve the American Dream. This coincided with historically low levels of inequality across income deciles. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, policies that had previously helped build the white middle class reversed, especially in states with a larger Black population. Calibrating a labor search model to match minimum wages, unemployment benefits, and bargaining power before and after the Civil Rights Act, I find declining labor protections explain half of the rise in 90/10 ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 090


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