NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Involuntary Unemployment and the Business Cycle

Lawrence J. Christiano, Mathias Trabandt, Karl Walentin

NBER Working Paper No. 15801
Issued in March 2010
NBER Program(s):   EFG

We propose a monetary model in which the unemployed satisfy the official US definition of unemployment: they are people without jobs who are (i) currently making concrete efforts to find work and (ii) willing and able to work. In addition, our model has the property that people searching for jobs are better off if they find a job than if they do not (i.e., unemployment is ‘involuntary’). We integrate our model of involuntary unemployment into the simple New Keynesian framework with no capital and use the resulting model to discuss the concept of the ‘non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment’. We then integrate the model into a medium sized DSGE model with capital and show that the resulting model does as well as existing models at accounting for the response of standard macroeconomic variables to monetary policy shocks and two technology shocks. In addition, the model does well at accounting for the response of the labor force and unemployment rate to the three shocks.

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A data appendix is available at http://www.nber.org/data-appendix/w15801

This paper was revised on December 5, 2011

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15801

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