Faculty & Research

Steven J. Davis

William H. Abbott Professor of International Business and Economics; Deputy Dean for Faculty

Phone :
1-773-702-7312
Address :
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Steven J. Davis is an applied economist with research publications on employment and wage behavior, worker mobility, job loss, the effects of labor market institutions, business dynamics, industrial organization, economic fluctuations, national economic performance, public policy and other topics. In addition to a basic understanding of the big macroeconomic issues, Davis hopes his students learn "an informed skepticism about data and economic argumentation and an analytical approach that they can apply to business and economic problems in their careers."

Davis is former Editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. He is also a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, an economic adviser to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and a non-resident visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, he held positions at the National University of Singapore, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Milken Institute for Job and Capital Formation, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. During a leave of absence, he was vice president in the Competition Practice at CRA International, an economics consulting firm. "This practical experience taught me that there is a market for analytical thinking skills, the hallmark of a Chicago Booth education," he said.

His research has been supported by grants from the Kauffman Foundation, the World Economic Forum, the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Labor, and several other organizations.

In addition to publication in numerous academic journals, Davis has published in the Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and other popular media. He has made television appearances on CNBC, Fox News Channel, NBC News, and PBS, among others. He has also appeared on various radio shows.

As a young man interested in economic, political, and social issues, Davis concluded that economics offered a powerful set of tools for understanding economic and social behavior. He pursued graduate studies in economics with the intention of "learning how to think." Davis earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Portland State University in Oregon in 1980, and a master's degree in 1981 and a PhD in 1986, both in economics from Brown University. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1985.

 

2014 - 2015 Course Schedule

Number Name Quarter
33942 Applied Macroeconomics: Micro Data for Macro Models 2014 (Fall)

Research Activities

Employment and unemployment outcomes; labor market flows; the structure of wages and earnings; tax effects on work activity; product pricing and design; private equity and economic performance

With J. Haltiwanger and S. Schuh, Job Creation and Destruction (MIT Press, 1996).

With O. Attanasio, "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy (1996).

With J. Kahn, "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Micro and Macro Levels," Journal of Economic Perspectives (2008).

With others, "Private Equity and Employment" (2011).

With R.J. Faberman and J. Haltiwanger, “Labor Market Flows in the Cross Section and Over Time” Journal of Monetary Economics (forthcoming).

New: Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty
Date Posted: Jan  09, 2013
Many commentators argue that uncertainty about tax, spending, monetary and regulatory policy slowed the recovery from the 2007-2009 recession. To investigate this we develop a new index of economic policy uncertainty (EPU), built on three components: the frequency of newspaper references to economic policy uncertainty, the number of federal tax code provisions set to expire, and the extent of forecaster disagreement over future inflation and government purchases. This EPU index spikes near conse

New: Industrial Policy, Employer Size and Economic Performance in Sweden
Date Posted: Nov  12, 2012
The pre-1990 Swedish tax system strongly disfavored younger, smaller and less capital-intensive firms and sectors and discouraged entrepreneurship and family ownership of businesses in favor of institutional ownership. Credit market regulations, the national pension system, employment security laws and centralized wage setting in Sweden reinforced the distortionary impact of the tax system. We describe the relevant Swedish policies and institutional arrangements, and explain why attendant distor

New: Sectoral Job Creation and Destruction Responses to Oil Price Changes
Date Posted: Aug  07, 2012
We study the effects of oil price changes and other shocks on the creation and destruction of U.S. manufacturing jobs from 1972 to 1988. We find that oil shocks account for about 20-25 percent of the cyclical variability in employment growth under our identifying assumptions, twice as much as monetary shocks. Employment growth shows a sharply asymmetric response to oil price ups and downs, in contrast to the prediction of standard equilibrium business cycle models. The two-year employment resp

REVISION: Recessions and the Costs of Job Loss
Date Posted: Feb  23, 2012
We develop new evidence on the cumulative earnings losses associated with job displacement, drawing on longitudinal Social Security records for U.S. workers from 1974 to 2008. In present value terms, men lose an average of 1.4 years of re-displacement earnings if displaced in mass layoff events that occur when the national unemployment rate is below 6 percent. They lose a staggering 2.8 years of pre-displacement earnings if displaced when the unemployment rate exceeds 8 percent. These results re

New: Has Economic Policy Uncertainty Hampered the Recovery?
Date Posted: Feb  23, 2012
The U.S. economy hit bottom in June 2009. Thirty months later, output growth remains sluggish and unemployment still hovers above 8%. A critical question is why. One view attributes the weak recovery, at least in part, to high levels of uncertainty about economic policy. This view entails two claims: First, that policy uncertainty is unusually high in recent years. Second, that high levels of policy uncertainty caused households and businesses to hold back significantly on spending, investment a

New: Has Economic Policy Uncertainty Hampered the Recovery?
Date Posted: Feb  07, 2012
The U.S. economy hit bottom in June 2009. Thirty months later, output growth remains sluggish and unemployment still hovers above 8%. A critical question is why. One view attributes the weak recovery, at least in part, to high levels of uncertainty about economic policy. This view entails two claims: First, that policy uncertainty is unusually high in recent years. Second, that high levels of policy uncertainty caused households and businesses to hold back significantly on spending, investment a

New: Turmoil and Growth: Young Businesses, Economic Churning, and Productivity Gains
Date Posted: Oct  12, 2011
The current economic turmoil arouses much anxiety and concern among the public, the business sector, and the policy-making community. Eventually, however, the economy will recover and resume sustained growth, just as it has after previous slowdowns or recessions. But some turmoil - specifically the churning of firms and jobs - will continue even in good times. It is inherent in any dynamic capitalist economy that some firms thrive and grow while others decline and sometimes fail. This essay summ

REVISION: Private Equity and Employment
Date Posted: Oct  06, 2011
Private equity critics claim that leveraged buyouts bring huge job losses. To investigate this claim, we construct and analyze a new dataset that covers U.S. private equity transactions from 1980 to 2005. We track 3,200 target firms and their 150,000 establishments before and after acquisition, comparing outcomes to controls similar in terms of industry, size, age, and prior growth. Relative to controls, employment at target establishments declines 3 percent over two years post buyout and 6 perc

New: Private Equity and Employment
Date Posted: Aug  29, 2011
Private equity critics claim that leveraged buyouts bring huge job losses. To investigate this claim, we construct and analyze a new dataset that covers U.S. private equity transactions from 1980 to 2005. We track 3,200 target firms and their 150,000 establishments before and after acquisition, comparing outcomes to controls similar in terms of industry, size, age, and prior growth. Relative to controls, employment at target establishments declines 3 percent over two years post buyout and 6 perc

REVISION: Electricity Pricing to U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-2000
Date Posted: Oct  07, 2010
We construct a large customer-level database and use it to study electricity pricing patterns from 1963 to 2000. The data show tremendous cross-sectional dispersion in the electricity prices paid by manufacturing plants, reflecting spatial price differences and quantity discounts. Price dispersion declined sharply between 1967 and 1977 because of erosion in quantity discounts. To estimate the role of cost factors and markups in quantity discounts, we exploit differences among utilities in the pu

REVISION: The Establishment-Level Behavior of Vacancies and Hiring
Date Posted: Oct  09, 2009
The authors study vacancies, hires, and vacancy yields (success rate in generating hires) in the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, a large representative sample of U.S. employers. The authors also develop a simple framework that identifies the monthly flow of new vacancies and the job-filling rate for vacant positions, the employer counterpart to the job-finding rate for unemployed workers. The job-filling rate moves counter to employment at the aggregate level but rises steeply with emplo

New: Business Volatility, Job Destruction, and Unemployment
Date Posted: Sep  27, 2009
Unemployment inflows fell from 4 percent of employment per month in the early 1980s to 2 percent or less by the mid 1990s and thereafter. U.S. data also show a secular decline in the job destruction rate and the volatility of firm-level employment growth rates. We interpret this decline as a decrease in the intensity of idiosyncratic labor demand shocks, a key parameter in search and matching models of unemployment. According to these models, a lower intensity of idiosyncratic shocks produces

Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Compa...
Date Posted: Aug  30, 2009
Guided by a simple theory of task assignment and time allocation, we investigate the long run response to national differences in tax rates on labor income, payrolls and consumption. The theory implies that higher tax rates reduce work time in the market sector, increase the size of the shadow economy, alter the industry mix of market activity, and twist labor demand in a way that amplifies negative effects on market work and concentrates effects on the less skilled. We also describe conditions

New: Business Volatility, Job Destruction, and Unemployment
Date Posted: Aug  11, 2009
Unemployment inflows fell from 4 percent of employment per month in the early 1980s to 2 percent or less by the mid 1990s and thereafter. U.S. data also show a secular decline in the job destruction rate and the volatility of firm-level employment growth rates. We interpret this decline as a decrease in the intensity of idiosyncratic labor demand shocks, a key parameter in search and matching models of unemployment. According to these models, a lower intensity of idiosyncratic shocks produces le

New: Productivity Dispersion and Input Prices: The Case of Electricity
Date Posted: Aug  11, 2009
We exploit a rich new database on Prices and Quantities of Electricity in Manufacturing (PQEM) to study electricity productivity in the U.S. manufacturing sector. The database contains nearly 2 million customer-level observations (i.e., manufacturing plants) from 1963 to 2000. It allows us to construct plant-level measures of price paid per kWh, output per kWh, output per dollar spent on electric power and labor productivity. Using this database, we first document tremendous dispersion among U.S

The Climate for Business Development and Employment Growth in Puerto Rico
Date Posted: Jul  26, 2009
Employment rates in Puerto Rico range from 55 to 65 percent of U.S. rates during the past thirty years. This huge employment shortfall holds for men and women, cuts across all education groups, and is deeper for persons without a college degree. The shortfall is concentrated in the private sector, especially labor-intensive industries that rely heavily on less educated workers. Motivated by these facts, we identify several factors that undermine employment growth and business development, inclu

Entry, Pricing, and Product Design in an Initially Monopolized Market
Date Posted: Mar  19, 2009
We analyze entry, pricing, and product design in a model with differentiated products. Market equilibrium can be "separating," with multiple sellers and a sorting of heterogeneous consumers across goods, or "exclusionary," with one seller serving all customer types. Entry into an initially monopolized market can occur because of cost reductions or product improvements, but entry need not lower the incumbent's price, improve efficiency, or raise consumer welfare. Postentry design incentives favor

Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption
Date Posted: Nov  19, 2008
We analyze how relative wage movements among birth cohorts and education groups affected the distribution of household consumption and economic welfare. Our empirical work draws on the best available cross-sectional data sets to construct synthetic panel data on U.S. consumption, labor supply and wages during the 1980s. We find that low-frequency movements in the cohort-education structure of pretax hourly wages among men drove large changes in the distribution of household consumption. The resu

Borrowing Costs and the Demand for Equity Over the Life Cycle
Date Posted: Nov  18, 2008
We analyze consumption and portfolio behavior in a life-cycle model with realistic borrowing costs and income processes. We show that even a small wedge between borrowing costs and the risk-free return dramatically shrinks the demand for equity. When the cost of borrowing equals or exceeds the expected return on equity - the relevant case according to the data - households hold little or no equity during much of the life cycle. The model also implies that the correlation between consumption grow

New: Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in JOLTS
Date Posted: Sep  02, 2008
We develop and implement a method to improve estimates of worker flows and job openings based on the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Our method involves reweighting the cross-sectional density of employment growth rates in JOLTS to match the corresponding density in the comprehensive Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data. To motivate our work, we compare JOLTS to other data sources and document large discrepancies with respect to aggregate employment growth, the magnitude of wo

New: Measuring the Dynamics of Young and Small Businesses: Integrating the Employer and Nonemployer Unive...
Date Posted: Aug  01, 2008
We develop a preliminary version of an Integrated Longitudinal Business Database (ILBD) that combines administrative records and survey data for all employer and nonemployer business units in the United States. Unlike other large-scale business databases, the ILBD tracks business transitions from nonemployer to employer status. This feature of the ILBD opens a new frontier for the study of business formation, early lifecycle dynamics and the precursors to job creation in the U.S. economy. There

New: Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and M
Date Posted: Jul  25, 2008
We review evidence on the Great Moderation together with evidence about volatility trends at the micro level to develop a potential explanation for the decline in aggregate volatility since the 1980s and its consequences. The key elements are declines in firm-level volatility and aggregate volatility - most dramatically in the durable goods sector - but with no decline in household consumption volatility and individual earnings uncertainty. Our explanation for the aggregate volatility decline st

New: Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and M...
Date Posted: Jun  05, 2008
We review evidence on the Great Moderation in conjunction with evidence about volatility trends at the micro level. We combine the two types of evidence to develop a tentative story for important components of the aggregate volatility decline and its consequences. The key ingredients are declines in firm-level volatility and aggregate volatility - most dramatically in the durable goods sector - but the absence of a decline in household consumption volatility and individual earnings uncertainty.

New: Electricity Pricing to U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-2000
Date Posted: Feb  25, 2008
We develop a large customer-level database to study electricity pricing to U.S. manufacturing plants from 1963 to 2000. We document tremendous dispersion in price per kWh, trace that dispersion to quantity discounts and spatial differentials, estimate the role of cost factors in quantity discounts, and test whether marginal price schedules conform to marginal cost and Ramsey pricing conditions. Our cost analysis and pricing tests rely on a novel empirical approach that exploits utility-level d

New: Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation
Date Posted: Sep  26, 2007
No abstract is available for this paper.

New: Economic Performance and Work Activity in Sweden After the Crisis of the Early 1990s
Date Posted: Aug  10, 2007
Following a severe contraction in the early 1990s, the Swedish economy accumulated a strong record of output growth coupled with a disappointing performance in the labor market. As of 2005, hours worked per person 20-64 years of age are 10.5 percent below the 1990 peak and a mere one percent above the 1993 trough. Employment rates tell a similar story. Our explanation for Sweden's weak performance with respect to market work activity highlights the role of high tax rates on labor income and cons

New: The Timing of Intergenerational Transfers, Tax Policy, and Aggregate Savings
Date Posted: Aug  08, 2007
No abstract is available for this paper.

New: Explaining National Differences in the Size and Industry Distribution of Employment
Date Posted: Jul  06, 2007
What forces determine national differences in the size and industry distribution of employment? We stress the role of the economic policy environment as determined by business taxes, employment security laws, credit market regulations, the national pension system, wage-setting institutions and the size of the public sector. We characterize these aspects of the economic environment in Sweden prior to 1990-91 and compare them to the situation in other European countries and the United States. Our

New: Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Compa
Date Posted: Jul  05, 2007
Guided by a simple theory of task assignment and time allocation, we investigate the long run response to national differences in tax rates on labor income, payrolls and consumption. The theory implies that higher tax rates reduce work time in the market sector, increase the size of the shadow economy, alter the industry mix of market activity, and twist labor demand in a way that amplifies negative effects on market work and concentrates effects on the less skilled. We also describe condit

New: Wage-Setting Institutions as Industrial Policy
Date Posted: Jun  29, 2007
Centralized wage setting arrangements compress wage differentials along many dimensions, but how do they affect employment structure? To address this issue, we relate the evolution of U.S.-Swedish differences in the industry distribution of employment to relative wages between and within industries. We find that centralized wage setting shifted Swedish employment away from industries with high wage dispersion among workers, a high mean wage and, especially, a low mean wage. The dissolution of Sw

New: Economic Performance and Work Activity in Sweden After the Crisis of the Early 1990s
Date Posted: May  17, 2007
Following a severe contraction in the early 1990s, the Swedish economy accumulated a strong record of output growth coupled with a disappointing performance in the labor market. As of 2005, hours worked per person 20-64 years of age are 10.5 percent below the 1990 peak and a mere one percent above the 1993 trough. Employment rates tell a similar story. Our explanation for Sweden's weak performance with respect to market work activity highlights the role of high tax rates on labor income and cons

REVISION: Understanding Business Dynamics: an Integrated Data System for America's Future
Date Posted: May  15, 2007
The U.S. economy is highly dynamic: businesses open and close, workers switch jobs and start new enterprises, and innovative technologies redefine the workplace and enhance productivity. With globalization markets have also become more interconnected. Measuring business activity in this rapidly evolving environment increasingly requires tracking complex interactions among firms, establishments, employers, and employees. Understanding Business Dynamics presents strategies for improving the accura

New: Borrowing Constraints and Two-Sided Altruism With an Application to Social Security
Date Posted: Dec  28, 2006
No abstract is available for this paper.

New: Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms
Date Posted: Oct  27, 2006
We study the variability of business growth rates in the U.S. private sector from 1976 onwards. To carry out our study, we exploit the recently developed Longitudinal Business Database (LBD), which contains annual observations on employment and payroll for all U.S. businesses. Our central finding is a large secular decline in the cross sectional dispersion of firm growth rates and in the average magnitude of firm level volatility. Measured the same way as in other recent research, the employment

New: The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources and Micro-Macro Links
Date Posted: May  21, 2006
New data sources and products developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of the Census highlight the fluid character of U.S. labor markets. Private-sector job creation and destruction rates average nearly 8% of employment per quarter. Worker flows in the form of hires and separations are more than twice as large. The data also underscore the lumpy nature of micro-level employment adjustments. More than two-thirds of job destruction occurs at establishments that shrink by more tha

New: War in Iraq versus Containment
Date Posted: May  14, 2006
We consider three questions related to the choice between war in Iraq and a continuation of the pre-war containment policy. First, in terms of military resources, casualties and expenditures for humanitarian assistance and reconstruction, is war more or less costly for the United States than containment? Second, compared to war and forcible regime change, would a continuation of the containment policy have saved Iraqi lives? Third, is war likely to bring about an improvement or deterioration in

The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources, Micro-Macro Links and the Recent Downturn
Date Posted: Jul  18, 2005
New data sources and products developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of the Census highlight the dynamic character of U.S. labor markets. Private-sector job creation and destruction rates average nearly 8% of employment per quarter. Worker flows in the form of hires and separations are more than twice as large. The data also underscore the lumpy nature of micro-level employment adjustments. More than two-thirds of job destruction occurs at establishments that shrink by more

Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing the Facts
Date Posted: Dec  29, 2003
This paper investigates how job creation and destruction behavior varies by employer size in the U.S. manufacturing sector during the period 1972 to 1988. The paper also evaluates the empirical basis for conventional claims about the job-creating prowess of small businesses. The chief findings and conclusions fall into five categories: (1) Conventional wisdom about the job-creating prowess of small businesses rests on misleading interpretations of the data. (2) Many previous studies of the job c

Borrowing Costs and the Demand for Equity Over the Life Cycle
Date Posted: Nov  16, 2002
We analyze consumption and portfolio behavior in a life-cycle model with realistic borrowing costs and income processes. We show that even a small wedge between borrowing costs and the risk-free return dramatically shrinks the demand for equity. When the cost of borrowing equals or exceeds the expected return on equity the relevant case according to the data households hold little or no equity during much of the life cycle. The model also implies that the correlation between consumption growth a

Cross-Country Patterns of Change in Relative Wages
Date Posted: Jan  22, 2002
This paper investigates movements in relative wages and wage inequality across thirteen of the world's major economies. Focusing on wages received by full-time male workers, the investigation uncovers several empirical regularities: (1) Most advanced industrialized economies show increases, often large, in wage inequality during the 1980s; none show declining wage inequality. In contrast, three of four middle income countries considered here show sharply declining wage inequality during the 1

Entry, Pricing and Product Design in an Initially Monopolized Market
Date Posted: Oct  18, 2001
We analyze entry, pricing and product design in a model with differentiated products. Under plausible conditions, entry into an initially monopolized market leads to higher prices for some, possibly all, consumers. Entry can induce a misallocation of goods to consumers, segment the market in a way that transfers surplus to producers and undermine aggressive pricing by the incumbent. Post entry, firms have strong incentives to modify product designs so as to raise price by strengthening market se

Economic Perspectives on Software Design: PC Operating Systems and Platforms
Date Posted: Sep  25, 2001
Improvements in the software that provides hardware management, user interface and platform functions have played a central role in the growth and transformation of the personal computer (PC) industry. Several forces shape the design of these 'operating system' products and propel their evolution over time, including: A. The need to efficiently manage the interacting components of PC systems so as to keep pace with rapid advances in computer technologies the development of applications software.

Occupation-Level Income Shocks and Asset Returns: Their Covariance and Implications for Portfolio Ch...
Date Posted: Sep  21, 2001
This paper develops and applies a simple graphical approach to portfolio selection that accounts for covariance between asset returns and an investor's labor income. Our graphical approach easily handles income shocks that are partly hedgable, multiple risky assets, many periods and life cycle considerations. We apply the approach to occupation-level components of individual income innovations estimated from repeated cross sections of the Current Population Survey. We characterize several pro

The Quality Distribution of Jobs and the Structure of Wages in Search Equilibrium
Date Posted: Aug  21, 2001
When match formation is costly and wage determination is decentralized, privately optimal investments in job and worker quality diverge from socially efficient outcomes. To explore this issue, I consider search equilibrium environments with endogenous quality distributions for jobs and workers. I show that a search equilibrium with decentralized wage setting exhibits excessive relative supplies of inferior jobs and inferior workers. Moreover, there are fundamental tensions between the standard w

Wage-Setting Institutions as Industrial Policy
Date Posted: Apr  09, 2001
Centralized wage-setting institutions compress relative wages. Motivated by this fact, we investigate the effects of centralized wage setting on the industry distribution of employment. We examine Sweden's industry distribution from 1960 to 1994 and compare it to the U.S. distribution over the same period. We also relate U.S.-Swedish differences in the industry distribution and their evolution over time to the structure of relative wages between and within industries. The empirical results id

On the Gains to International Trade in Risky Financial Assets
Date Posted: Apr  01, 2001
This paper develops and implements a framework for quantifying the gains to international trade in risky financial assets. The framework can handle may agents, many assets, incomplete markets and limited participation in asset markets. It delivers closed-form analytic solutions for consumption, portfolio allocations, asset prices and the gains to trade. We find enormous gains to trade when asset returns are calibrated to observed risk premia and all agents participate in asset markets. The gai

Occupation-Level Income Shocks and Asset Returns: Their Covariance and Implications for Portfolio Ch...
Date Posted: Apr  01, 2001
This paper develops and applies a simple graphical approach to portfolio selection that accounts for covariance between asset returns and an investor's labor income. Our graphical approach easily handles income shocks that are partly hedgable, multiple risky assets, many periods and life cycle considerations. We apply the approach to occupation-level components of individual income innovations estimated from repeated cross sections of the Current Population Survey. We characterize several pro

Employer Size and The Wage Structure in U.S. Manufacturing
Date Posted: Aug  18, 2000
We study how the hourly wage structure varies with establishment size and how wage dispersion breaks down into between-plant and within-plant components Our study combines household and establishment data for the U.S. manufacturing sector in 1982. 1) Wage dispersion falls sharply with establishment size for nonproduction workers and mildly for production workers. 2) Size-class differences in wage dispersion often mask even sharper differences in the dispersion of wages generated by observable wo

Measuring Gross Worker and Job Flows
Date Posted: Jul  25, 2000
We combine information from several different studies and data sets to assemble a fuller, more accurate picture of job flows and worker flows in U.S. labor markets. Our picture characterizes the magnitudes of job and worker flows, the connections between them, their cyclical behavior, differences among identifiable groups of workers and employers, the spatial concentration of job flows, and other aspects of labor market dynamics. We also assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of the U.S.

Industrial Policy, Employer Size, and Economic Performance in Sweden
Date Posted: Jul  15, 2000
The pre-1990 Swedish tax system strongly disfavored younger, smaller and less capital-intensive firms and sectors and discouraged entrepreneurship and family ownership of businesses in favor of institutional ownership. Credit market regulations, the national pension system, employment security laws and centralized wage setting in Sweden reinforced the distortionary impact of the tax system. We describe the relevant Swedish policies and institutional arrangements, and we explain why the attenda

Explaining National Differences in the Size and Industry Distribution of Employment
Date Posted: Jul  14, 2000
What factors determine national differences in the size and industry distribution of employment? We stress the role of the economic policy environment as determined by business taxes, employment securitylaws, credit market regulations, the national pension system, wage-setting institutions and the size of the public sector. We characterize these aspects of the policy environment in Sweden prior to 1990-91 and compare them to the situation in other European countries and the United States. Our

On the Driving Forces Behind Cyclical Movement, in Employment and Job Reallocation
Date Posted: May  12, 2000
We rely on a decomposition of employment changes into job creation and job destruction components - and a novel set of identifying restrictions that this decomposition permits - to develop new evidence about the driving forces behind aggregate fluctuations and the channels through which they operate. We implement our approach to identification using quarterly postwar U.S. data on oil shocks, monetary shocks, and manufacturing rates of job creation and destruction. Our analysis delivers many inf

Regional Labor Fluctuations: Oil Shocks, Military Spending, and Other Driving Forces
Date Posted: Dec  01, 1997
We quantify the contribution of various driving forces to state-level movements in unemployment rates and employment growth from 1956 to 1992. Our story of regional fluctuations in the U.S. economy has a large cast of players--including government contract awards and the basing of military personnel--but oil price shocks have been the leading actor since 1973. Beyond the magnitude and abruptness of oil price movements, the explanation for their pronounced regional effects has three essential ele