Seminar Series “Macroeconomics and Labor Markets on 21 November 2023

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PantherMedia / Bernd Schmidt

We are pleased to invite you to the seminar series on “Macroeconomics and Labor Markets“ organized by the Chair of Macroeconomics at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Prof. Merkl, the Chair of Global Governance and International Trade at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Prof. Moser, and the Competence Field Macroeconomics of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB). Researchers of both institutions, as well as national and international guests, present their current work at the intersection of labor- and macroeconomics.

The next seminar will be held on Tuesday, November 21, 2pm to 3.30pm (German time) via Zoom.

Isabel Cairó (Federal Reserve Board) will talk about

“Labor Market Discrimination and the Racial Unemployment Gap:Can Monetary Policy Make a Difference?” (joint work with Avi Lipton).


Black workers experience a higher unemployment rate, as well as more volatile employment dynamics, than white workers, and the racial unemployment rate gap is largely unexplained by observable characteristics. We develop a New Keynesian model with search and matching frictions in the labor market, endogenous separations, and employer discrimination against Black workers to explain these outcomes. The model is consistent with key features of the aggregate economy and is able to explain key labor market disparities across racial groups. We then use this model to assess the effects of the Federal Reserve’s new monetary policy framework—interest rates respond to shortfalls of employment from its maximum level rather than deviations—on racial inequality in the labor market. We find that shifting from a Deviations interest rate rule to a Shortfalls rule reduces the racial unemployment rate gap and the model-based measures of labor market discrimination but increases the average inflation rate. From a welfare perspective, we find that the Shortfalls approach does not do much to reduce racial inequality in our model economy.