John Coglianese is a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. His research focuses on the macroeconomics of labor markets, including such topics as the macro effects of unemployment insurance, labor force participation, and the labor market effects of monetary policy.
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Ph.D. in Political Economy & Government, 2018
M.A. in Political Economy & Government, 2013
B.A. in Economics and Mathematics, 2011
University of Pennsylvania
We analyze a monetary quasi-experiment in Sweden from 2010–2011, when the Riksbank raised the interest rate substantially. We argue that this increase was unrelated to labor market conditions, driven instead by new concerns at the Riksbank about financial stability. Using a battery of specifications that rule out domestic or international confounders, we show that this monetary tightening led to a substantial economic contraction, raising unemployment by 1–2 percentage points. Using administrative micro data, we find that nominal wage rigidity drove much of the unemployment response and that the monetary contraction was more regressive than the typical business cycle.
How cyclical is the U.S. labor force participation rate (LFPR)? We examine its response to exogenous state-level business cycle shocks, finding that the LFPR is highly cyclical, but with a significantly longer-lived response than the unemployment rate. The LFPR declines after a negative shock for about four years—–well beyond when the unemployment rate has begun to recover—and takes about eight years to fully recover after the shock. The decline and recovery of the LFPR is largely driven by individuals with home and family responsibilities, as well as by younger individuals spending time in school. Our main specifications measure cyclicality from the response of the age-adjusted LFPR, and we show that it is problematic to use the unadjusted LFPR when estimating cyclicality because local shocks spur changes in the population of high-LFPR age groups through migration. LFPR cyclicality varies across groups, with larger and longer-lived responses among men, younger workers, less-educated workers, and Black workers.