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Time variation in the persistence of unemployment over the past century


  • Cho, Dooyeon
  • Rho, Seunghwa


This paper investigates the persistence of the unemployment rate for the UK and the US over the past century by modeling the persistence to randomly evolve over time. The estimated autoregressive coefficient exhibits significant variation over time indicating the fluctuation between the hysteresis and mean-reverting phases. We find that the hysteresis phase is, to a considerable extent, associated with economic downturns caused by macroeconomic shocks, with the unemployment rate during this phase showing large deviations from the estimated natural rate of unemployment. In contrast, for the periods conforming to the natural rate theory, the actual unemployment rate fluctuates relatively closely around the estimated natural rate of unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Cho, Dooyeon & Rho, Seunghwa, 2019. "Time variation in the persistence of unemployment over the past century," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 19-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:182:y:2019:i:c:p:19-22
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2019.05.035

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    More about this item


    Time-varying parameter; Unemployment; Hysteresis; Natural rate; Persistence;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity


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