Author Archives: Menzie Chinn

The Employment Release and Business Cycle Indicators as of 5 March

The positive surprise in nonfarm payroll (NFP) employment — 379K vs Bloomberg consensus of 182K — was good news. However, it’s important to place this in context. NFP is 9.5 million lower (i.e., 6.2% lower) than the NBER peak in February 2020. In the context of key macro indicators followed by the  NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee:

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A Literature Review on Economic Policy Response to Covid-19

An excellent review of empirical findings regarding the various provisions is contained in this FEDS Notes article, by Elena Falcettoni, and Vegard Nygaard.

The COVID-19 pandemic has kept economists busy analyzing many aspects of economic side of the coronavirus impact. This note is meant to present an overview of what economists have analyzed regarding the implications of two of the main components of the CARES Act that affect individuals: the increased UI benefits and the stimulus checks. We present the findings from the literature on these two policies with an eye on potential future governmental interventions.

Taken together, these two components have been effective at providing stimulus and lowering poverty. In the aggregate, Kaplan et al. (2020) (PDF) find that the initial UI benefits and stimulus payments boosted aggregate consumption by 2 percentage points, while Bayer et al. (2020) show that the CARES transfers reduced the output loss due to the pandemic by up to 5 percentage points.

Complete note here.


Update to the Comment Moderation Policy

Comments should be directed to the topic of the original post, and commenters should restrict themselves to civil discussion of the substance of comments. In addition, racist, misogynistic comments and use of profanity will not be permitted.

Effective immediately, failure to adhere to this policy will constitute cause for editorial action.

Per James Hamilton and Menzie Chinn