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The cyclical behavior of state employment during the postwar period

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  • Gerald Carlino
  • Robert DeFina
  • Keith Sill

Abstract

This study documents a substantial decline in employment volatility at business-cycle frequencies over the postwar period using state-industry level data. The distribution of total employment volatilities at the state level has become less disperse over time, and mean volatility has fallen. Similar results are obtained using employment data on one-digit sectors across states: all sectors have seen a decline in employment volatility over the postwar period, and state-sectors are more alike in terms of volatility levels. A key source of the decline in volatility appears to be widespread (across states and industries) decreases in the size of shocks hitting employment levels. Shifts in the demographic factors, and industrial structures of state economies have had little or no impact. Neither have inter-state employment shifts, such as migrations from the Frostbelt to the Sunbelt. The sources of the smaller employment shocks are unclear, although the evidence points to macroeconomic phenomena.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 02-14.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:02-14

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Keywords: Employment (Economic theory);

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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 1999. "The Band Pass Filter," NBER Working Papers 7257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Lawrence J. Christiano & Terry J. Fitzgerald, 2003. "The Band Pass Filter," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 435-465, 05.
  2. Atish R. Ghosh & Holger C. Wolf, 1997. "Geographical and Sectoral Shocks in the U.S. Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hess, Gregory D & Iwata, Shigeru, 1997. "Measuring and Comparing Business-Cycle Features," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 432-44, October.
  4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hamilton, James D., 1996. "This is what happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 215-220, October.
  6. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  7. Carolyn Sherwood-Call, 1990. "Assessing regional economic stability: a portfolio approach," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Win, pages 17-26.
  8. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  9. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
  10. John R. Kort, 1981. "Regional Economic Instability and Industrial Diversification in the U.S," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 57(4), pages 596-608.
  11. Hooker, Mark A., 1996. "What happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 195-213, October.
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