The ins and outs of unemployment in the long run: a new estimate for the natural rate?
AbstractIn this paper, we present a simple, reduced form model of comovements in real activity and unemployment flows and use it to uncover the trend changes in these flows, which determine the trend in the unemployment rate. We argue that this trend rate has several key features that are reminiscent of a “natural rate.” We show that the natural rate, measured this way, has been relatively stable in the last decade, even after the last recession hit the U.S. economy. This relatively muted change was due to two opposing trend changes: On one hand, the trend in the job-finding rate, after being relatively stable for decades, declined by a significant margin in the last decade, pushing trend unemployment up. On the other hand, the separation rate has somewhat offset this effect with a continued secular decline since the early 1980s. We also show that, contrary to business-cycle frequency movements, most of the low-frequency variation in the unemployment rate could be accounted for by changes in the trend of separation rates, not job-finding rates. The notable exception is the last decade, when clear trend changes in both flows imply opposing effects on the trend unemployment rate and slower worker reallocation in the U.S. economy.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 1017.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael R. Darby & John C. Haltiwanger & Mark W. Plant, 1986.
"The Ins and Outs of Unemployment: The Ins Win,"
NBER Working Papers
1997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010.
"Business Volatility, Job Destruction, and Unemployment,"
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 259-87, April.
- Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Business volatility, job destruction and unemployment," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
- Steven Davis & R Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2008. "Business Volatility, Job Destruction, and Unemployment," Working Papers 08-26, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2008. "Business Volatility, Job Destruction, and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 14300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003.
"Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
2003-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Rules with Unknown Natural Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 63-146.
- Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates," Working Paper Series 2003-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Michael R. Darby & John Haltiwanger & Mark Plant, 1984.
"Unemployment-Rate Dynamics and Persistent Unemployment Under RAtional Expectations,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
339, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Darby, Michael R & Haltiwanger, John C & Plant, Mark W, 1985. "Unemployment Rate Dynamics and Persistent Unemployment under Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 614-37, September.
- 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.
- R. Jason Faberman, 2008. "Job flows, jobless recoveries, and the Great Moderation," Working Papers 08-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Mary Daly & Bart Hobijn, 2010. "Okun’s law and the unemployment surprise of 2009," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue mar8.
- Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2009.
"The Cyclicality Of Separation And Job Finding Rates,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 415-430, 05.
- Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2007. "The cyclicality of separation and job finding rates," Working Papers 07-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Clark, Peter K., 1989. "Trend reversion in real output and unemployment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 15-32, January.
- Clark, Peter K, 1987. "The Cyclical Component of U.S. Economic Activity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 797-814, November.
- Kajuth, Florian, 2012. "Identifying the Phillips curve through shifts in volatility," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 975-991.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lee Faulhaber).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.