Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?
AbstractRecent work by David Lilien has argued that the existence of a strong positive correlation between the dispersion of employment growth rates across sectors (G) and the unemployment rate implies that shifts in demand from some sectors to others are responsible for a substantial fraction of cyclical variation in unemployment. This paper demonstrates that, under certain empirically satisfied conditions, aggregate demand movements alone can produce a positive correlation between G and the unemployment rate. Two tests are developed which permit one to distinquish between a pure sectoral shift interpretation and a pure aggregate demand interpretation of this positive correlation. The finding that G and the volume of help wanted advertising are negatively related and the finding that G is directly associated with the change in unemployment rather than with the level of unemployment both support an aggregate demand interpretation. A proxy for sectoral shifts that is purged of the influence of aggregate demand is then developed. Models which allow sectoral shifts in the composition of demand and fluctuations in the aggregate level of demand to affect the unemployment rate independently are estimated using this proxy. The results support the view that pure sectoral shifts have not been an important source of cyclical fluctuations in unemployment.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1410.
Date of creation: Jan 1987
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Abraham, Katherine G. and Lawrence F. Katz. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?" Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 94 , No. 3, (June 1986), pp. 507-522.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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Other versions of this item:
- Abraham, Katharine G & Katz, Lawrence F, 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 507-22, June.
- Abraham, Katharine G. & Katz, Lawrence F., 1986. "Cyclical Unemployment: Sectoral Shifts or Aggregate Disturbances?," Scholarly Articles 3442781, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Using Beveridge curve dynamics to identify cyclical and structural shocks
by David Andolfatto in MacroMania on 2012-01-24 16:45:00
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