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Okun’s law and the unemployment surprise of 2009

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Author Info

  • Mary Daly
  • Bart Hobijn

Abstract

In 2009, strong growth in productivity allowed firms to lay off large numbers of workers while holding output relatively steady. This behavior threw a wrench into the long-standing relationship between changes in GDP and changes in the unemployment rate, known as Okun’s law. If Okun’s law had held in 2009, the unemployment rate would have risen by about half as much as it did over the course of the year.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal FRBSF Economic Letter.

Volume (Year): (2010)
Issue (Month): mar8 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfel:y:2010:i:mar8:n:2010-07

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Related research

Keywords: Unemployment ; Productivity;

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Cited by:
  1. Mary Daly & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin & Robert Valletta, 2011. "A Rising Natural Rate of Unemployment: Transitory or Permanent?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-160/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "The dual mandate: has the Fed changed its objective?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 117-134.
  3. Murat Tasci, 2012. "The Ins and Outs of Unemployment in the Long Run: Unemployment Flows and the Natural Rate," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1233, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  4. Mary Daly & Bart Hobijn & Rob Valletta, 2011. "The recent evolution of the natural rate of unemployment," Working Paper Series 2011-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Murat Tasci, 2010. "The ins and outs of unemployment in the long run: a new estimate for the natural rate?," Working Paper 1017, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  6. Oscar Jorda & John Fernald & Fernanda Nechio & Mary Daly, 2013. "Okun’s Macroscope: Changes in the Cyclical Behavior of Productivity and the Comovement between Output and Unemployment," 2013 Meeting Papers 1155, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Mary Daly & Bart Hobijn & Aysegul Sahin & Robert Valletta, 2011. "A Rising Natural Rate of Unemployment: Transitory or Permanent?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-160/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Cazes, Sandrine & Verick, Sher & Al Hussami, Fares, 2011. "Diverging trends in unemployment in the United States and Europe : evidence from Okun's law and the global financial crisis," ILO Working Papers 467629, International Labour Organization.
  9. Ryan W Herzog, 2013. "An Analysis of Okun's Law, the Natural Rate, and Voting Preferences for the 50 States," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 2504-2517.

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