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Business cycles and compositional variation in U.S. unemployment

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  • Abbring, Jaap H.

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

  • Berg, Gerard J. van den
  • Ours, Jan C. van

Abstract

In the past decades several features of U.S. unemployment dynamics have been investigated empirically. The original focus of research was on the duration of unemployment. In later studies the cyclicality of incidence and duration, compositional effects and duration dependence of the exit rate out of unemployment have been investigated. Unlike the partial approach of previous studies this paper takes all elements of unemployment dynamics simultaneously into account. We find that cyclical fluctuations in unemployment are driven by variations in the incidence, individual exit probabilities and the composition of the inflow into unemployment. We also find negative duration dependence of the unemployment exit rate which can be attributed to employers ranking workers according to the length of their unemployment spell.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0020.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:vuarem:1997-20

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Web page: http://www.feweb.vu.nl

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Keywords: unemployment composition; unemployment duration; business cycle; sorting; ranking;

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  1. Michael R. Darby & John C. Haltiwanger & Mark W. Plant, 1985. "Unemployment-Rate Dynamics and Persistent Unemployment Under Rational Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Digit preference in CPS unemployment data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 117-121, May.
  3. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-83, June.
  4. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1990. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," NBER Working Papers 3387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Akerlof, George A & Main, Brian G M, 1980. "Unemployment Spells and Unemployment Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 885-93, December.
  6. Berg, G. van den & Ours, J.C. van, 1996. "Unemployment dynamics and duration dependence," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-86874, Tilburg University.
  7. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
  8. Butler, Richard J & McDonald, James B, 1986. "Trends in Unemployment Duration Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 545-57, November.
  9. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Unemployment Duration: Compositional Effects and Cyclical Variability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 313-21, March.
  10. Sider, Hal, 1985. "Unemployment Duration and Incidence: 1968-82," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 461-72, June.
  11. van den Berg, Gerard J & van Ours, Jan C, 1996. "Unemployment Dynamics and Duration Dependence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 100-125, January.
  12. Carlson, John A & Horrigan, Michael W, 1983. "Measures of Unemployment Duration as Guides to Research and Policy: Comment [An Experience-Weighted Measure of Employment and Unemployment Duration]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1143-50, December.
  13. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1991. "Wage Bargaining and Unemployment Persistence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 277-92, August.
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