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Gender and the business cycle: An analysis of labour markets in the US and UK

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  • Razzu, Giovanni
  • Singleton, Carl

Abstract

Starting from an improved understanding of the relationship between gender labour market stocks and the business cycle, we analyse the contributing role of flows in the US and UK. Focusing on the post 2008 recession period, the subsequent greater rise in male unemployment can mostly be explained by a less cyclical response of flows between employment and unemployment for women, especially the entry into unemployment. Across gender and country, the inactivity rate is generally not sensitive to the state of the economy. However, a flows based analysis reveals a greater importance of the participation margin over the cycle. Changes in the rates of flow between unemployment and inactivity can each account for around 0.8–1.1 percentage points of the rise in US male and female unemployment rates during the latest downturn. For the UK, although the participation flow to unemployment similarly contributed to the increase of the female unemployment rate, this was not the case for men. The countercyclical flow rate from inactivity to employment was also more significant for women, especially in the US, where it accounted for approximately all of the fall in employment, compared with only 40% for men.

Suggested Citation

  • Razzu, Giovanni & Singleton, Carl, 2016. "Gender and the business cycle: An analysis of labour markets in the US and UK," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 131-146.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:47:y:2016:i:pb:p:131-146
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2015.12.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carl Singleton, 2018. "Long‐Term Unemployment and the Great Recession: Evidence from UK Stocks and Flows," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 65(2), pages 105-126, May.
    2. Razzu, Giovanni & Singleton, Carl & Mitchell, Mark, 2018. "On why gender employment equality in Britain has stalled since the early 1990s," MPRA Paper 87190, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jewell, Sarah & Razzu, Giovanni & Singleton, Carl, 2018. "Who works for whom and the UK gender pay gap?," MPRA Paper 87191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Daniel Schaefer & Carl Singleton, 2017. "Real Wages and Hours in the Great Recession: Evidence from Firms and their Entry-Level Jobs," CESifo Working Paper Series 6766, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; Worker flows; Unemployment; Participation; The Great Recession;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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