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Working Paper, No. 2020-09, 2020 Crossref
Bad Jobs and Low Inflation

We study a model in which firms compete to retain and attract workers searching on the job. A drop in the rate of on-the-job search makes such wage competition less likely, reducing expected labor costs and lowering inflation. This model explains why inflation has remained subdued over the last decade, which is a conundrum for general equilibrium models and Phillips curves. Key to this success is the observed slowdown in the recovery of the employment-to-employment transition rate in the last five years, which is interpreted by the model as a decline in the share of employed workers searching for a job. This fall in the on-the-job search rate is corroborated by the micro data.

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