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Laurence Ball

7 December 2021
This paper studies the dynamics of unemployment (u) and its natural rate (u*), with u* measured by real-time estimates for 29 countries from the OECD. We find strong evidence of hysteresis: an innovation in u causes u* to change in the same direction, and therefore has permanent effects. For our baseline specification, a one percentage point deviation of u from u* for one year has a long-run effect of 0.16 points on both variables. When we allow asymmetry, we find, perhaps surprisingly, that decreases in u have larger long-run effects than increases in u.
JEL Code
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
7 January 2020
This paper asks whether a textbook Phillips curve can explain the behavior of core inflation in the euro area. A critical feature of the analysis is that we measure core inflation with the weighted median of industry inflation rates, which is less volatile than the common measure of inflation excluding food and energy prices. We find that fluctuations in core inflation since the creation of the euro are well explained by three factors: expected inflation (as measured by surveys of forecasters); the output gap (as measured by the OECD); and the pass-through of movements in headline inflation. Our specification resolves the puzzle of a “missing disinflation” after the Great Recession, and it diminishes the puzzle of a “missing inflation” during the recent economic recovery.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles