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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Michael Owyang

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Working Papers

February 2013Are Government Spending Multipliers Greater During Periods of Slack? Evidence from 20th Century Historical Data
with Valerie A. Ramey, Sarah Zubairy: w18769
A key question that has arisen during recent debates is whether government spending multipliers are larger during times when resources are idle. This paper seeks to shed light on this question by analyzing new quarterly historical data covering multiple large wars and depressions in the U.S. and Canada. Using an extension of Ramey’s (2011) military news series and Jordà’s (2005) method for estimating impulse responses, we find no evidence that multipliers are greater during periods of high unemployment in the U.S. In every case, the estimated multipliers are below unity. We do find some evidence of higher multipliers during periods of slack in Canada, with some multipliers above unity.
January 2011The Propagation of Regional Recessions
with James D. Hamilton: w16657
This paper develops a framework for inferring common Markov-switching components in a panel data set with large cross-section and time-series dimensions. We apply the framework to studying similarities and differences across U.S. states in the timing of business cycles. We hypothesize that there exists a small number of cluster designations, with individual states in a given cluster sharing certain business cycle characteristics. We find that although oil-producing and agricultural states can sometimes experience a separate recession from the rest of the United States, for the most part, differences across states appear to be a matter of timing, with some states entering recession or recovering before others.

Published: James D. Hamilton & Michael T. Owyang, 2012. "The Propagation of Regional Recessions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 935-947, November. citation courtesy of

December 2005Searching for Better Prospects: Endogenizing Falling Job Tenure and Private Pension Coverage
with Leora Friedberg, Tara M. Sinclair: w11808
Recent declines in job tenure have coincided with a shift away from traditional defined benefit (DB) pensions, which reward long tenure. Recent evidence also points to an increase in job-to-job movements by workers, and we document gains in relative wages of job-to-job movers over a similar period. We develop a search model in which firms may offer tenure-based contracts like DB pensions to reduce the incidence of costly on-the-job search by workers. Reduced search costs can, under fairly general conditions, lower the value of deterring search and the use of DB pensions.

Published: Friedberg Leora & Owyang Michael T & Sinclair Tara M, 2006. "Searching For Better Prospects: Endogenizing Falling Job Tenure and Private Pension Coverage," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-42, August. citation courtesy of

August 2004Explaining the Evolution of Pension Structure and Job Tenure
with Leora Friedberg: w10714
Current and expected job tenure have fallen significantly over the last two decades. Over the same period, traditional defined benefit pensions, designed to reward long tenure, have become steadily less common. This paper uses a contract-theoretic matching model with moral hazard to explain changes in pension structure and job tenure. In our model, a decline in the value of existing jobs relative to new jobs reduces expected match duration and thus the appeal of DB pensions. We show that this explanation is consistent with observed trends and suggests an additional consequence of technological change that has not been closely studied.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

 
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