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Does Industrial Diversity Always Reduce Unemployment? Evidence from the Great Depression and After

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  • Simon, Curtis J
  • Nardinelli, Clark

Abstract

A portfolio model of employment predicts that cities with more diversified employment opportunities should experience lower unemployment rates than less diversified cities. Empirical analysis of the diversity-unemployment relationship using Census data support the portfolio theory for the years 1950, 1960, and 1970. During the early months of the Great Depression, hower, industrially more diversified cities experienced higher, rather than lower, rates of unemployment. By combining the portfolio model of employment with the Lucas-Phelps islands model, the anomalous effect of diversity in 1931 is explained as the result of employers' difficulty of distinguishing real from nominal shocks. Copyright 1992 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 30 (1992)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 384-97

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:30:y:1992:i:2:p:384-97

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Cited by:
  1. Ferragina, Anna Maria & Pastore, Francesco, 2005. "Mind the Gap: Unemployment in the New EU Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 1565, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Pastore, Francesco, 2013. "Primum vivere… Industrial Change, Job Destruction and the Geographical Distribution of Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 7126, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Robert A. Margo, 1993. "Employment and Unemployment in the 1930s," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 41-59, Spring.
  4. Roberto Basile & Alessandro Girardi & Marianna Mantuano & Francesco Pastore, 2012. "Sectoral shifts, diversification and regional unemployment: evidence from local labour systems in Italy," Empirica, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 525-544, November.
  5. Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Sundstrom, William A., 1999. "The Sources of Regional Variation in the Severity of the Great Depression: Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing, 1919–1937," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(03), pages 714-747, September.
  6. Claudia M. Buch & Martin Schlotter, 2008. "Regional Origins of Employment Volatility: Evidence from German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 2296, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Francesco Pastore & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2013. "Polish high unemployment and spatial labor turnover. Insights from panel data analysis using unemployment registry data," Working Papers 2013-18, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

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