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Heterogeneity in sectoral employment and the business cycle

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  • Nadezhda Malysheva
  • Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte

Abstract

Using a factor analytic framework, we show that employment variations differ significantly across sectors. In some sectors, notably in goods production, employment movements are driven almost entirely by aggregate shocks. Because aggregate shocks drive business cycles (i.e., sector-specific shocks tend to average out), these sectors are then particularly sensitive to these cycles. In other sectors, mainly in service-providing activities, employment variations are virtually unrelated to aggregate shocks and instead result almost exclusively from sector-specific shocks. This heterogeneity in sectoral employment movements suggests that agents working in different sectors of the U.S. economy are affected in very different ways by changes in the economic environment.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its journal Economic Quarterly.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): Fall ()
Pages: 335-355

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2009:i:fall:p:335-355:n:v.95no.4

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Keywords: Employment;

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  1. Andrew T. Foerster & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte & Mark W. Watson, 2008. "Sectoral vs. Aggregate Shocks: A Structural Factor Analysis of Industrial Production," NBER Working Papers 14389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
  3. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2002. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 191-221, January.
  4. Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1998. "Let's Get Real: A Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 453-73, July.
  5. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 15286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  7. Shea, John S, 2002. "Complementarities and Comovements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 412-33, May.
  8. John Shea, 1995. "Complementarities and Comovements," NBER Working Papers 5305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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