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Non-linearities and fractional integration in the US unemployment rate

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  • Caporale, Guglielmo Maria
  • Gil-Alana, Luis A.

Abstract

This paper proposes a model of the US unemployment rate which accounts for both its asymmetry and its long memory. Our approach, based on the tests of Robinson (1994), introduces fractional integration and nonlinearities simultaneously into the same framework (unlike earlier studies employing a sequential procedure), using a Lagrange Multiplier procedure with a standard limit distribution. The empirical results suggest that the US unemployment rate can be specified in terms of a fractionally integrated process, which interacts with some non-linear functions of the labour demand variables (real oil prices and real interest rates). We also find evidence of a long-memory component. Our results are consistent with a hysteresis model with path dependency rather than a NAIRU model with an underlying unemployment equilibrium rate, hence giving support to more activist stabilisation policies. However, any suitable model should also include business cycle asymmetries, with implications for both forecasting and policymaking. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA) in its series HWWA Discussion Papers with number 259.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26232

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Keywords: Unemployment; Asymmetries; Nonlinearities; Fractional Integration; Persistence; Long Memory;

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References

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  1. Gil-Alana, L. A. & Robinson, P. M., 1997. "Testing of unit root and other nonstationary hypotheses in macroeconomic time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 241-268, October.
  2. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Carruth,a. & Hooker, N. & Oswald,A., 1997. "Unemployment Equilibria and Input Prices: Theory and Evidence from the United States," Papers 22, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  4. Luis Gil-Alana, 2003. "Seasonal Misspecification in the Context of Fractionally Integrated Univariate Time Series," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 22(1), pages 65-74, August.
  5. Gil-Alana, Luis A., 2002. "Seasonal long memory in the aggregate output," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 333-337, February.
  6. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Luis Gil-Alana, 2002. "Unemployment and input prices: a fractional cointegration approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(6), pages 347-351.
  7. Eitrheim, Øyvind & Teräsvirta, Timo, 1995. "Testing the Adequacy of Smooth Transition Autoregressive Models," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 56, Stockholm School of Economics.
  8. Mehmet Caner & Bruce E. Hansen, 2001. "Threshold Autoregression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1555-1596, November.
  9. Marco Bianchi & Gylfi Zoega, 1998. "Unemployment persistence: does the size of the shock matter?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(3), pages 283-304.
  10. Beaudry, Paul & Koop, Gary, 1993. "Do recessions permanently change output?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-163, April.
  11. Gil-Alana, Luis A., 2000. "Mean reversion in the real exchange rates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 285-288, December.
  12. Philip Rothman, 1998. "Forecasting Asymmetric Unemployment Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 164-168, February.
  13. Skalin, Joakim & Ter svirta, Timo, 2002. "Modeling Asymmetries And Moving Equilibria In Unemployment Rates," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 202-241, April.
  14. Cross, Rod, 1994. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Discontinuous Adjustment: Selective Memory of Non-dominated Extrema," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 41(2), pages 212-21, May.
  15. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  16. Franses, Ph.H.B.F. & Paap, R., 1998. "Modelling asymmetric persistence over the business cycle," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 9852, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  17. L. A. Gil-Alaña & Peter M. Robinson, 2001. "Testing of seasonal fractional integration in UK and Japanese consumption and income," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 298, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. Gil-Alana, Luis A., 1999. "Testing fractional integration with monthly data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 613-629, December.
  19. Ramsey, James B & Rothman, Philip, 1996. "Time Irreversibility and Business Cycle Asymmetry," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 1-21, February.
  20. Neftci, Salih N, 1984. "Are Economic Time Series Asymmetric over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 307-28, April.
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