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Asymmetric labor force participation decisions over the business cycle: evidence from U.S. microdata

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  • Julie L. Hotchkiss
  • John C. Robertson

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore the microfoundations of the observed asymmetric movement in aggregate unemployment rates. Using U.S. data, we find that individual labor force participation responds asymmetrically to changes in local labor market conditions, consistent with the pattern of movements in the aggregate unemployment rate. Differences in the asymmetry and sensitivity of labor force participation decisions are found across gender, age, and education groups, and these differences are used to anticipate changes in the aggregate movements as population characteristics change over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2006-08.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2006-08

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References

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  1. Lisa Barrow, 2004. "Is the official unemployment rate misleading? a look at labor market statistics over the business cycle," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 21-35.
  2. Erica L. Groshen & Simon Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
  3. James D. Hamilton, 2005. "What's real about the business cycle?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 435-452.
  4. Gunnar Bårdsen & Stan Hurn & Zoë McHugh, 2002. "A smooth-transition model of the Australian unemployment rate," Working Paper Series 1002, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, revised 01 Jul 2003.
  5. Philip Rothman, 1998. "Forecasting Asymmetric Unemployment Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 164-168, February.
  6. H. Naci Mocan & Turan G. Bali, 2005. "Asymmetric Crime Cycles," NBER Working Papers 11210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Andrés Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "A quantitative theory of the gender gap in wages," Working Papers 2010-04, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales, revised 20 Oct 2010.
  8. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2004. "The Racial Wage Gap: The Importance of Labor Force Attachment Differences across Black, Mexican, and White Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  9. Anne E. Polivka, 1996. "Data Watch: The Redesigned Current Population Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 169-180, Summer.
  10. Simon Burgess & Hélène Turon, 2005. "Unemployment dynamics in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 423-448, 04.
  11. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 1999. "The Employment, Earnings, and Income of Less Skilled Workers Over the Business Cycle," JCPR Working Papers 85, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  12. Darby, Julia & Hart, Robert A. & Vecchi, Michela, 2001. "Labour force participation and the business cycle: a comparative analysis of France, Japan, Sweden and the United States," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 113-133, April.
  13. Robert S. Gay & William L. Wascher, 1989. "Persistence Effects in Labor Force Participation," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 177-187, Jul-Sep.
  14. Rebecca M. Blank & Heidi Shierholz, 2006. "Exploring Gender Differences in Employment and Wage Trends Among Less-Skilled Workers," NBER Working Papers 12494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Clarence D. Long, 1958. "The Labor Force Under Changing Income and Employment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number long58-1, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Julie Hotchkiss & M. Pitts & Mary Walker, 2011. "Labor force exit decisions of new mothers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 397-414, September.
  2. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Jean Kimmel, 2009. "Moonlighting Over The Business Cycle," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(4), pages 754-765, October.
  3. Katarzyna Budnik & Michal Greszta & Michal Hulej & Marcin Kolasa & Karol Murawski & Michal Rot & Bartosz Rybaczyk & Magdalena Tarnicka, 2009. "The new macroeconometric model of the Polish economy," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 62, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  4. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2011. "To work or not to work: the economics of a mother's dilemma," Working Paper 2011-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2008. "Working with children? the probability of mothers exiting the workforce at time of birth," Working Paper 2008-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts, 2007. "Evidence of demand factors in the determination of the labor market intermittency penalty," Working Paper 2007-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2010. "Assessing the impact of education and marriage on labor market exit decisions of women," Working Paper 2010-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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