NBER Working Papers by Pascal Michaillat

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Working Papers

January 2014An Economical Business-Cycle Model
with Emmanuel Saez: w19777
We construct a microfounded, dynamic version of the IS-LM-Phillips curve model by adding two elements to the money-in-the-utility-function model of Sidrauski (1967). First, real wealth enters the utility function. The resulting Euler equation describes consumption as a decreasing function of the interest rate in steady state–the IS curve. The demand for real money balances describes consumption as an increasing function of the interest rate in steady state–the LM curve. The intersection of the IS and LM curves defines the aggregate demand (AD) curve. Second, matching frictions in the labor market create unemployment. The aggregate supply (AS) curve describes output sold for a given market tightness. Tightness adjusts to equalize AD and AS curve for any price process. With a rigid price pr...
February 2013Aggregate Demand, Idle Time, and Unemployment
with Emmanuel Saez: w18826
This paper develops a model of unemployment fluctuations. The model keeps the architecture of the Barro and Grossman [1971] general disequilibrium model but replaces the disequilibrium framework on the labor and product markets by a matching framework. On the product and labor markets, both price and tightness adjust to equalize supply and demand. There is one more variable than equilibrium condition on each market, so we consider various price mechanisms to close the model, from completely flexible to completely rigid. With some price rigidity, aggregate demand influences unemployment through a simple mechanism: higher aggregate demand raises the probability that firms find customers, which reduces idle time for firms’ employees and thus increases labor demand, which in turn reduces unemp...
November 2010Optimal Unemployment Insurance over the Business Cycle
with Camille Landais, Emmanuel Saez: w16526
This paper examines how optimal unemployment insurance (UI) responds to the state of the labor market. The theoretical framework is a matching model of the labor market with general production function, wage-setting mechanism, matching function, and preferences. We show that optimal UI is the sum of a conventional Baily-Chetty term, which captures the trade-off between insurance and job-search incentives, and a correction term, which is positive if UI brings labor market tightness closer to its efficient level. The state of the labor market determines whether tightness is inefficiently low or inefficiently high. The response of optimal UI to the state of the labor market therefore depends on the effect of UI on tightness. For instance, if the labor market is slack and tightness is ineffici...

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