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The Changing Face of Job Loss in the United States, 1981-1993

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  • Henry S. Farber
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    Abstract

    I examine changes in the incidence and consequences of job loss by reported cause between 1981 and 1993 using data from Displaced Workers Surveys (DWS), conducted as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS) in even years since 1984. The overall rate of job loss is up somewhat in the 1990s. The increase in job loss is larger for older and more educated workers, but younger and less-educated workers continue to have the highest rates of job loss. Some significant changes are also found in the rate of job loss by reported reason. Next I examine the consequences of displacement for several post- displacement labor market outcomes, including the probability of employment, full-time/part-time status, the change in earnings, job stability, and self-employment status. The adverse consequences of job loss, which have always been substantial, do not appear to have changed systematically over time. More educated workers suffer less economic loss relative to income due to displacement than do the less educated. Self-employment appears to be an important response to displacement, and older workers and the more educated are more likely to turn to self-employment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5596.

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    Date of creation: May 1996
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    Publication status: published as Farber, Henry S. "What Do We Know About Job Loss In The United States? Evidence From The Displaced Workers Survey, 1984-2004." FRB Chicago - Economic Perspectives, QII (2005): 13-28.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5596

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    1. Daniel Parent, 1995. "Industry-Specific Capital and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the NLSY and the PSID," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 729, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Topel, Robert, 1990. "Specific capital and unemployment: Measuring the costs and consequences of job loss," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 181-214, January.
    3. Francis X. Diebold & David Neumark & Daniel Polsky, 1994. "Job Stability in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michael Podgursky & Paul Swaim, 1987. "Job displacement and earnings loss: Evidence from the Displaced Worker Survey," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(1), pages 17-29, October.
    5. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F., 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Scholarly Articles 3442782, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Hall, Robert E, 1982. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 716-24, September.
    7. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
    8. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
    9. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    10. Ureta, Manuelita, 1992. "The Importance of Lifetime Jobs in the U.S. Economy, Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 322-35, March.
    11. Kletzer, Lori Gladstein, 1989. "Returns to Seniority after Permanent Job Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 536-43, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Koeniger, Winfried, 2001. "Labor and Financial Market Interactions: The Case of Labor Income Risk and Car Insurance in the UK 1969-95," IZA Discussion Papers 240, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Yona Rubinstein & Daniel Tsiddon, 2004. "Coping with Technological Change: The Role of Ability in Making Inequality so Persistent," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 305-346, 09.
    3. Giovanna Vallanti, 2005. "Capital mobility and unemployment dynamics: evidence from a panel of OECD countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 19897, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Lawrence F Katz, 1998. "Reflections on US Labour Market Performance," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Guy Debelle & Jeff Borland (ed.), Unemployment and the Australian Labour Market Reserve Bank of Australia.
    5. Mine Zeynep Senses, 2006. "The Effects of Outsourcing on the Elasticity of Labor Demand," Working Papers 06-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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