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Justin Bloesch

Justin Bloesch Q&A

What is your research about?

I have two directions of research. The first direction is to model and test models of how firms set wages. In particular, how do firms balance wages costs and turnover cost, and does this differ across types of workers or occupations?

The second branch of research digs into the role of the labor market in business cycles: is labor income less responsive to monetary policy than in the past? Does the process of onboarding workers explain the sluggish response of investment to shocks? How do wages respond to changes in cost of living?

How did you become interested in your field?

Following the 2008 recession and in the early recovery, it was very hard for many people to find a job, and wage inequality was increasing. It seemed that there was little research connecting how wages changed for different kinds of workers based on the business cycle.

At the same time, many labor market models assume that workers and employers bargain over wages. In practice, many employers set wages, and workers choose which jobs to take. This different modeling assumption can have significantly different implications, and I become interested in developing new models to help explain dynamics in the labor market that have not been explained before.

What impact do you hope your research will have?

I hope my research will improve our understanding of how we know if we are at full employment, what are the implications of full employment for inequality, and what are the limits of macroeconomic policy in affecting the income distribution.

What attracted you to the ILR School?

I really like that many members of the ILR community are either practitioners or interact regularly with practitioners through their programming or research.

What are you most excited for about your time at ILR?

I am very excited to learn more from colleagues about how practices in the labor market are changing over time, as well as how real-world knowledge can help inform the models we use in economics.

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