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An Analysis of Okun's Law, the Natural Rate, and Voting Preferences for the 50 States

  • Ryan W Herzog

    ()

    (Gonzaga University)

In this paper we test Okun's Law for individuals states from 1990 through 2012. We find the relationship between output and unemployment becomes stronger following the 2007 Great Recession. For most states the impact of a change in output on unemployment has increased and in many cases the two-to-one relationship has shifted to a three-to-two relationship. Further, we also find for most states the natural rate of unemployment has increased. We use average employment ratios by major industries to explain differences in Okun's Law across states. We find a stronger Okun effect for states with relatively large employment in professional and business services, construction, and manufacturing. Finally, we find a significant correlation between states that lean more Democrat with a stronger Okun effect.

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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 2504-2517

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00486
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  1. Lee, Jim, 2000. "The Robustness of Okun's Law: Evidence from OECD Countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 331-356, April.
  2. Binet Marie-estelle & Francois Facchini, 2013. "Okun's law in the french regions: a cross-regional comparison," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 420-433.
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  6. Adolfo Maza & José Villaverde, 2007. "Okun's law in the Spanish regions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 18(5), pages 1-11.
  7. Julien Fouquau, 2008. "Threshold effects in Okun's law: a panel data analysis," Post-Print hal-00565477, HAL.
  8. Stock, J.H. & Watson, M.W., 1989. "New Indexes Of Coincident And Leading Economic Indicators," Papers 178d, Harvard - J.F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Owyang, Michael T. & Sekhposyan, Tatevik, 2012. "Okun’s law over the business cycle: was the great recession all that different?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 399-418.
  10. Edward S. Knotek & II, 2007. "How useful is Okun's law?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 73-103.
  11. Brian Silverstone & Richard Harris, 2001. "Testing for asymmetry in Okun's law: A cross-country comparison," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 5(2), pages 1-13.
  12. Theodore M. Crone & Alan Clayton-Matthews, 2005. "Consistent Economic Indexes for the 50 States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 593-603, November.
  13. Villaverde, José & Maza, Adolfo, 2009. "The robustness of Okun's law in Spain, 1980-2004: Regional evidence," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 289-297.
  14. Justin Weidner & John C. Williams, 2011. "What is the new normal unemployment rate?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue feb14.
  15. Mary Daly & Bart Hobijn, 2010. "Okun’s law and the unemployment surprise of 2009," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue mar8.
  16. Freeman, Donald G, 2001. "Panel Tests of Okun's Law for Ten Industrial Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 511-23, October.
  17. Ho-Chuan (River) Huang & Chih-Chuan Yeh, 2013. "Okun's law in panels of countries and states," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 191-199, January.
  18. Attfield, Clifford L. F. & Silverstone, Brian, 1998. "Okun's Law, Cointegration and Gap Variables," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 625-637, July.
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