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Unemployment Rate Hysteresis and the Great Recession: Exploring the Metropolitan Evidence

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  • Giorgio Canarella

    (California State University, Los Angeles and University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

  • Stephen M. Miller

    (University of Nevada, Las Vegas and University of Connecticut)

  • Stephen K. Pollard

    (California State University, Los Angeles)

Abstract

This paper explores the mean-reverting behavior of the unemployment rate using monthly geographically disaggregated data for the period 1991:01 through 2012:02. We apply both standard unit-root tests and tests that allow for one and two structural breaks in the mean. We find evidence that favors both unit-root and stationary processes. No series exhibits stationarity around a constant mean, which does not support the traditional natural-rate hypothesis, but about half of the series exhibit stationarity around a shifting mean. For these series, we find that the break occurs at the Great Recession. To complement the unit-root analysis, we also examine the behavior of the series using the Bai and Perron methods to detect multiple regimes at unknown points of time. We find that the Great Recession also altered the persistence of the unemployment rate series over the identified regimes. In general, the values of the estimated persistence within regimes decrease between those regimes, implying faster absorption of shocks later in the sample period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2013-19.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2013-19

Note: Stephen M. Miller is corresponding author.
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Keywords: structural break tests; hysteresis; Great Recession; unit root; MSA unemployment rate; mean reversion;

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