January 2017

IZA DP No. 10466: Fiscal Policy and Occupational Employment Dynamics

published in: Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, 2020, 52 (5), 1527-1563

We document substantial heterogeneity in occupational employment dynamics in response to government spending shocks. Employment rises most strongly in service, sales, and office ("pink-collar") occupations. By contrast, employment in blue-collar occupations is hardly affected by fiscal stimulus which is striking in light of its strong exposure to the cycle and its long-run decline due to technical change and globalization. We provide evidence that occupation-specific changes in labor demand are key to understand these findings and develop a business-cycle model that explains the heterogeneous occupational employment dynamics as a consequence of differences in the short-run substitutability between labor and capital services across occupations.