NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Christopher J. Nekarda

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Working Papers and Chapters

July 2014The Micro and Macro of Disappearing Routine Jobs: A Flows Approach
with Guido Matias Cortes, Nir Jaimovich, Henry E. Siu: w20307
The U.S. labor market has become increasingly polarized since the 1980s, with the share of employment in middle-wage occupations shrinking over time. This job polarization process has been associated with the disappearance of per capita employment in occupations focused on routine tasks. We use matched individual-level data from the CPS to study labor market flows into and out of routine occupations and determine how this disappearance has played out at the “micro” and “macro” levels. At the macro level, we determine which changes in transition rates account for the disappearance of routine employment since the 1980s. We find that changes in three transition rate categories are of primary importance: (i) that from unemployment to employment in routine occupations, (ii) that from labor forc...
June 2013The Cyclical Behavior of the Price-Cost Markup
with Valerie A. Ramey: w19099
A countercyclical markup of price over marginal cost is the key transmission mechanism for demand shocks in textbook New Keynesian (NK) models. This paper re-examines the foundation of those models. We study the cyclicality of markups in the private economy as well as in detailed manufacturing industries. First, we show that frameworks for measuring markups that have produced the strongest evidence for countercyclicality produce the opposite result when we substitute new methods and data. Second, because the NK model's predictions differ by the nature of the shock, we present evidence on the cyclicality of the markup conditional on various types of shocks. Consistent with the NK model, we find that markups are procyclical conditional on a technology shock. However, we find that they are ei...
February 2010Industry Evidence on the Effects of Government Spending
with Valerie A. Ramey: w15754
This paper investigates industry-level effects of government purchases in order to shed light on the transmission mechanism for government spending on the aggregate economy. We begin by highlighting the different theoretical predictions concerning the effects of government spending on industry labor market equilibrium. We then create a panel data set that matches output and labor variables to shifts in industry-specific government demand. The empirical results indicate that increases in government demand raise output and hours, but lower real product wages and productivity. Markups do not change as a result of government demand increases. The results are consistent with the neoclassical model of government spending, but they are not consistent with the New Keynesian model of the effects of...

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