NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Raphael Schoenle

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Working Papers

November 2016Inflation Dynamics During the Financial Crisis
with Simon Gilchrist, Jae Sim, Egon Zakrajšek: w22827
Using a novel dataset, which merges good-level prices underlying the PPI with the respondents’ balance sheets, we show that liquidity constrained firms increased prices in 2008, while their unconstrained counterparts cut prices. We develop a model in which firms face financial frictions while setting prices in customer markets. Financial distortions create an incentive for firms to raise prices in response to adverse financial or demand shocks. This reaction reflects the firms’ decisions to preserve internal liquidity and avoid accessing external finance, factors that strengthen the countercyclical behavior of markups and attenuate the response of inflation to fluctuations in output.
February 2014Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing? Redux
with Saroj Bhattarai, Gauti Eggertsson: w19886
We study the implications of increased price flexibility on output volatility. In a simple DSGE model, we show analytically that more flexible prices always amplify output volatility for supply shocks and also amplify output volatility for demand shocks if monetary policy does not respond strongly to inflation. More flexible prices often reduce welfare, even under optimal monetary policy if full efficiency cannot be attained. We estimate a medium-scale DSGE model using post-WWII U.S. data. In a counterfactual experiment we find that if prices and wages are fully flexible, the standard deviation of annualized output growth more than doubles.
November 2006The Evolution of Work
with Markus Mobius: w12694
The division of labor first increased during industrialization and then decreased again after 1970 as job roles have expanded. We explain these trends in the organization of work through a simple model where (a) machines require standardization to exploit economies of scale and (b) more customized products are subject to trends and fashions which make production tasks less predictable and a strict division of labor impractical. At the onset of industrialization, the market supports only a small number of generic varieties which can be mass-produced under a strict division of labor. Thanks to productivity growth, niche markets gradually expand, producers eventually move into customized production and the division of labor decreases again. The model predicts capital-skill substitutability du...

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