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Why did the average duration of unemployment become so much longer?

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  • Toshihiko Mukoyama
  • Aysegül Sahin

Abstract

This paper examines the causes of the observed increase in the average duration of unemployment over the past thirty years. First we analyze whether changes in the demographic composition of the U.S. labor force, particularly the age and gender composition, can explain this increase. We then consider the contribution of institutional changes, such as the change in the generosity and coverage of unemployment insurance. We find that changes in the composition of the labor force and institutional changes can only partially account for the longer duration of unemployment. We construct a job search model and calibrate it to U.S. data. The results indicate that more than 70 percent of the increase in the duration of unemployment over the past thirty years can be attributed to an increase in within-group wage inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 194.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:194

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Keywords: Unemployment ; Labor market ; Demography ; Unemployment insurance;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Shigeru Fujita, 2011. "Declining labor turnover and turbulence," Working Papers 11-44, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Thomas B. King, 2005. "Labor productivity and job-market flows: trends, cycles, and correlations," Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers 2005-04, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Bachmann, Ronald & Sinning, Mathias, 2012. "Decomposing the Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 6362, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. José Ferreira Machado & Pedro Portugal & Juliana Guimarães, 2006. "U.S. Unemployment Duration: Has Long Become Longer or Short Become Shorter?," Working Papers w200613, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  5. Mukoyama, Toshihiko, 2013. "Understanding the welfare effects of unemployment insurance policy in general equilibrium," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 347-368.
  6. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegül Sahin, 2004. "Why did the average duration of unemployment become so much longer?," Staff Reports 194, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Della Lee Sue, 2008. "Unemployment Index: A Multidimensional Measure of Labor Market Efficiency," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), vol. 39(1), pages 44-69.
  8. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder & Shani Schechter, 2010. "What is behind the rise in long-term unemployment?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 28-51.
  9. Céspedes, Nikita & Gutiérrez, Ana Paola & Belapatiño, Vanessa, 2013. "Determinantes de la duración del desempleo en una economía con alta informalidad," Working Papers 2013-022, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.

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