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Space and time in macroeconomic panel data: young workers and state-level unemployment revisited

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  • Christopher L. Foote

Abstract

A provocative paper by Shimer (2001) finds that state-level youth shares and unemployment rates are negatively correlated, in contrast to conventional assumptions about demographic effects on labor markets. This paper updates Shimer's regressions and shows that this surprising correlation essentially disappears when the end of the sample period is extended from 1996 to 2005. This shift does not occur because of a change in the underlying economy during the past decade. Rather, the presence of a cross-sectional (that is, spatial) correlation in the state-level data sharply reduces the precision of the earlier estimates, so that the true standard errors are several times larger than those originally reported. Using a longer sample period and some controls for spatial correlation in the regression, point estimates for the youth-share effect on unemployment are positive and close to what a conventional model would imply. Unfortunately, the standard errors remain very large. The difficulty of obtaining precise estimates with these data illustrates a potential pitfall in the use of regional panel data for macroeconomic analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its series Working Papers with number 07-10.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:07-10

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Keywords: Unemployment;

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  1. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
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  3. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, December.
  4. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Impact Of Young Workers On The Aggregate Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 969-1007, August.
  5. Gary Solon, 1984. "Estimating Autocorrelations in Fixed-Effects Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," Working Papers 694, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Hoyt Bleakley & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1997. "Shifts in the Beveridge Curve, job matching, and labor market dynamics," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 3-19.
  8. Stephanie Aaronson & Bruce Fallick & Andrew Figura & Jonathan Pingle & William Wascher, 2006. "The Recent Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate and Its Implications for Potential Labor Supply," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(1), pages 69-154.
  9. Cameron, A. Colin & Gelbach, Jonah B. & Miller, Douglas L., 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249.
  10. Yu, Jihai & de Jong, Robert & Lee, Lung-fei, 2008. "Quasi-maximum likelihood estimators for spatial dynamic panel data with fixed effects when both n and T are large," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 118-134, September.
  11. Lee, Lung-fei & Yu, Jihai, 2010. "A Spatial Dynamic Panel Data Model With Both Time And Individual Fixed Effects," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(02), pages 564-597, April.
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  13. Bhargava, A & Franzini, L & Narendranathan, W, 1982. "Serial Correlation and the Fixed Effects Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 533-49, October.
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Cited by:
  1. A. Colin Cameron & Douglas L. Miller, 2010. "Robust Inference with Clustered Data," Working Papers 107, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  2. Lee, Lung-fei & Yu, Jihai, 2010. "Estimation of spatial autoregressive panel data models with fixed effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 154(2), pages 165-185, February.
  3. Clots-Figueras, Irma, 2011. "Women in politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 664-690.
  4. Garloff, Alfred & Pohl, Carsten & Schanne, Norbert, 2011. "Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?," IAB Discussion Paper 201118, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  5. Allegretto, Sylvia & Dube, Arindrajit & Reich, Michael, 2010. "Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State Panel Data," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7jq2q3j8, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  6. Allegretto, Sylvia & Dube, Arindrajit & Reich, Michael, 2009. "Spatial Heterogeneity and Minimum Wages: Employment Estimates for Teens Using Cross-State Commuting Zones," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt1x99m65f, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  7. Allegretto, Sylvia A., 2013. "Waiting for Change: Is it Time to Increase the $2.13 Subminimum Wage?," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt3zx9v0zk, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  8. Lee, Lung-fei & Yu, Jihai, 2010. "Some recent developments in spatial panel data models," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 255-271, September.

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