The data are quite clear: over the past 4 years, inflation-adjusted wages are up! This is also true if you start roughly right before the pandemic (December 2019 or January 2020 or thereabouts). And not only are inflation-adjusted wages up, they are up roughly the same amount as they were in the years before the pandemic. CPI-adjusted wages are a touch below: about 3% growth over 4 years, versus roughly 4% from 2015-2019. But PCE-adjusted wages are right on track, at around 5% cumulative 4-year growth. It’s true right now that if we start the data in January 2021, at the beginning of the Biden Presidency, CPI-adjusted wages are down slightly: about 1%. But PCE-adjusted wages are up slightly: also about 1%. But unless there is a major reversal of the trajectory of either wage or price growth, by next year these will both be positive (even if only slightly).
- Date Posted:
- November 28, 2023
Our study builds on an intuitive idea: to recover its past investment, a lender has incentives to offer more favorable lending terms to a firm close to default to keep the firm alive. In contrast to standard intuition, we find that evergreening allows a firm with worse fundamentals—less productive and with more debt—to borrow at relatively better terms. Based on detailed U.S. loan-level data for the years 2014-19, we provide empirical support for our theory at a time when the banks were relatively well capitalized and the economy was growing steadily. Using a dynamic model of the U.S. economy, we find that evergreening has material effects on the performance of the overall economy, resulting in lower borrowing rates, higher levels of debt, and depressed overall productivity.