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The Persistence of Local Joblessness

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  • Michael Amior
  • Alan Manning

Abstract

Differences in employment-population ratios across US commuting zones have persisted for many decades. We claim these disparities represent real gaps in economic opportunity for individuals of fixed characteristics. These gaps persist despite a strong migratory response, and we attribute this to high persistence in labor demand shocks. These trends generate a "race" between local employment and population: population always lags behind employment, yielding persistent deviations in employment rates. Methodologically, we argue the employment rate can serve as a sufficient statistic for local well-being; and we model population and employment dynamics using an error correction mechanism, which explicitly allows for disequilibrium.

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  • Michael Amior & Alan Manning, 2018. "The Persistence of Local Joblessness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(7), pages 1942-1970, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:7:p:1942-70
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20160575
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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