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Labor Market Dynamics and the Business Cycle: Structural Evidence for the United States

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  • Morten O. Ravn
  • Saverio Simonelli

Abstract

We use a 12-dimensional VAR to examine the aggregate effects of two structural technology shocks and two policy shocks. For each shock, we examine the dynamic effects on the labor market, the importance of the shock for labor market volatility, and the comovement between labor market variables and other key aggregate variables in response to the shock. We document that labor market indicators display "hump-shaped" responses to the identified shocks. Technology shocks and monetary policy shocks are important for labor market volatility but the ranking of their importance is sensitive to the VAR specification. The conditional correlations at business cycle frequencies are similar in response to the four shocks, apart from the correlations between hours worked, labor productivity and real wages. To account for the unconditional correlations between these variables, a mixture of shocks is required. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2008 .

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  • Morten O. Ravn & Saverio Simonelli, 2008. "Labor Market Dynamics and the Business Cycle: Structural Evidence for the United States," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(4), pages 743-777, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:109:y:2008:i:4:p:743-777
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    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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