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U.S. labor market dynamics revisited

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  • Eran Yashiv
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    Abstract

    The picture of U.S. labor market dynamics is opaque. Empirical studies have yielded contradictory findings and debates have emerged regarding their implications. This paper aims at clarifying the picture, which is important for the understanding of the operation of the labor market, for the study of business cycles, for the explanation of wage behavior, and for the formulation of policy. The paper determines what facts can be established, what are their implications, and what remains to be further investigated. The main contributions made here are: (i) Listing of data facts that can be agreed upon. These indicate that there is considerable cyclicality and volatility of both accessions to employment and separations from it. Hence, both are important for the understanding of the business cycle. (ii) Presenting the business cycle facts of key series. (iii) Pointing to specific gaps in the data picture: disparities in the measurement of the sizeable flows between employment and the pool of workers out of the labor force, disagreements about the relative volatility of job finding and separation rates across data sets, and the fact that the fit of the gross flows data with net employment growth data differs across studies and is not high. The definite characterization of labor market dynamics depends upon the closing of these data gaps.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19665/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19665.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19665

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    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
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    Related research

    Keywords: labor market dynamics; gross worker flows; job finding; separation; hiring; business cycles;

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    References

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    1. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1, octubre-d.
    2. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. R. Jason Faberman, 2005. "Studying the Labor Market with the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey," Working Papers 388, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    4. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Introduction to "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues"," NBER Chapters, in: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Gary Solon & Ryan Michaels & Michael W. L. Elsby, 2009. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 84-110, January.
    6. Poterba, James M & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "Reporting Errors and Labor Market Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1319-38, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dixon, Robert & Lim, Guay C. & van Ours, Jan C., 2014. "The Effect of Shocks to Labour Market Flows on Unemployment and Participation Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 8221, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Michael W. Elsby & Ryan Michaels & Gary Solon, 2007. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 12853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lin, Ching-Yang & Miyamoto, Hiroaki, 2012. "Gross worker flows and unemployment dynamics in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 44-61.

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