Tracking Weekly State-Level Economic Conditions
Review of Economics and Statistics,
This paper develops a novel dataset of weekly economic conditions indices for the 50 U.S. states going back to 1987 based on mixed-frequency dynamic factor models with weekly, monthly, and quarterly variables that cover multiple dimensions of state economies. We find considerable cross-state heterogeneity in the length, depth, and timing of business cycles. We illustrate the usefulness of these state-level indices for quantifying the main contributors to the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and for evaluating the effectiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program. We also propose an aggregate indicator that gauges the overall weakness of the U.S. economy.
01.06.2022 • 12/2022
IWH welcomes top international researcher as head of new department
A powerful boost for the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH): Merih Sevilir, a world-renowned researcher on the interplay of financial and labour markets, is heading the Institute’s newest department as of today. Her expertise strengthens the unique selling points of the institute and can be expected to generate significant opportunities for policy insights.
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13.04.2022 • 8/2022
From Pandemic to Energy Crisis: Economy and Politics under Permanent Stress
The German economy is steering through difficult waters and faces the highest inflation rates in decades. In their spring report, the leading German economic research institutes revise their outlook for this year significantly downward. The recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is slowing down as a result of the war in Ukraine, but remains on track. The institutes expect GDP to increase by 2.7% and 3.1% in 2022 and 2023 respectively. In the event of an immediate interruption to Russian gas supplies, a total of 220 billion euros in German economic output would be at risk in both years.
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The (Heterogenous) Economic Effects of Private Equity Buyouts
IWH Discussion Papers,
The effects of private equity buyouts on employment, productivity, and job reallocation vary tremendously with macroeconomic and credit conditions, across private equity groups, and by type of buyout. We reach this conclusion by examining the most extensive database of U.S. buyouts ever compiled, encompassing thousands of buyout targets from 1980 to 2013 and millions of control firms. Employment shrinks 13% over two years after buyouts of publicly listed firms – on average, and relative to control firms – but expands 13% after buyouts of privately held firms. Post-buyout productivity gains at target firms are large on average and much larger yet for deals executed amidst tight credit conditions. A post-buyout tightening of credit conditions or slowing of GDP growth curtails employment growth and intra-firm job reallocation at target firms. We also show that buyout effects differ across the private equity groups that sponsor buyouts, and these differences persist over time at the group level. Rapid upscaling in deal flow at the group level brings lower employment growth at target firms.
The Impact of Active Aggregate Demand on Utilisation-adjusted TFP
IWH Discussion Papers,
Non-clearing goods markets are an important driver of capacity utilisation and total factor productivity (TFP). The trade-off between goods prices and household search effort is central to goods market matching and therefore drives TFP over the business cycle. In this paper, I develop a New-Keynesian DSGE model with capital utilisation, worker effort, and expand it with goods market search-and-matching (SaM) to model non-clearing goods markets. I conduct a horse-race between the different capacity utilisation channels using Bayesian estimation and capacity utilisation survey data. Models that include goods market SaM improve the data fit, while the capital utilisation and worker effort channels are rendered less important compared to the literature. It follows that TFP fluctuations increase for demand and goods market mismatch shocks, while they decrease for technology shocks. This pattern increases as goods market frictions increase and as prices become stickier. The paper shows the importance of non-clearing goods markets in explaining the difference between technology and TFP over the business cycle.
Why is Unemployment so Countercyclical?
Review of Economic Dynamics,
We argue that wage inertia plays a pivotal role in allowing empirically plausible variants of the standard search and matching model to account for the large countercyclical response of unemployment to shocks.
War drives up energy prices ‒ High inflation weighs on economy Supply bottlenecks weigh on the manufacturing sector,...
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