Monday, August 29, 2011

Thank the government, in part, for the high unemployment rate

Sometimes when politicians try to help people, they hurt people:
The painfully slow rate of job growth can be blamed at least in part on home mortgage modifications that reduce house payments for struggling homeowners, because such policies incentivize people to stay where they are instead of moving to better job markets, according to a new paper by researchers Kyle F. Herkenhoff and Lee E. Ohanian, both at UCLA.

The paper is one among a growing number papers that explore why mobility has decreased so drastically through the recession, and what the effects have been. Most economists would agree that reduced mobility increases unemployment: When people don’t move, they deny themselves the chance to find work in a city or state where jobs are more plentiful.

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