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Projecting unemployment durations: A factor-flows simulation approach with application to the COVID-19 recession

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  • Chodorow-Reich, Gabriel
  • Coglianese, John

Abstract

We propose a three-step factor-flows simulation-based approach to forecast the duration distribution of unemployment. Step 1: estimate individual transition hazards across employment, temporary layoff, permanent layoff, quitter, entrant, and out of the labor force, with each hazard depending on an aggregate component as well as an individual’s labor force history. Step 2: relate the aggregate components to the overall unemployment rate using a factor model. Step 3: combine the individual duration dependence, factor structure, and an auxiliary forecast of the unemployment rate to simulate a panel of individual labor force histories. Applying our approach to the November Blue Chip forecast of the COVID-19 recession, we project that 750,000 workers laid off in April 2020 remain unemployed eight months later. Total long-term unemployment rises thereafter and eventually reaches 4.2 million individuals unemployed for more than 26 weeks and 1.4 million individuals unemployed for more than 46 weeks. Long-term unemployment rises even more in a more pessimistic recovery scenario, but remains below the level in the Great Recession due to a high amount of labor market churn.

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  • Chodorow-Reich, Gabriel & Coglianese, John, 2021. "Projecting unemployment durations: A factor-flows simulation approach with application to the COVID-19 recession," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 197(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:197:y:2021:i:c:s0047272721000347
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2021.104398
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Ganong & Fiona Greig & Max Liebeskind & Pascal Noel & Daniel Sullivan & Joseph Vavra, 2021. "Spending and Job Search Impacts of Expanded Unemployment Benefits: Evidence from Administrative Micro Data," Working Papers 2021-19, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    2. Gertler, Mark & Huckfeldt, Christopher & Trigari, Antonella, 2022. "Temporary Layoffs, Loss-of-Recall, and Cyclical Unemployment Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 17376, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Jessica Gallant & Kory Kroft & Fabian Lange & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2020. "Temporary Unemployment and Labor Market Dynamics During the COVID-19 Recession," NBER Working Papers 27924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Till von Wachter, 2020. "Lost Generations: Long‐Term Effects of the COVID‐19 Crisis on Job Losers and Labour Market Entrants, and Options for Policy," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(3), pages 549-590, September.
    5. Robert E. Hall & Marianna Kudlyak, 2020. "The Unemployed With Jobs and Without Jobs," NBER Working Papers 27886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Gros, Daniel & Ounnas, Alexandre, 2021. "Labour market responses to the Covid-19 crisis in the United States and Europe," CEPS Papers 32985, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    7. Malak Kandoussi & François Langot, 2021. "On the heterogeneous impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on US unemployment," TEPP Working Paper 2021-01, TEPP.
    8. Eliza Forsythe & Lisa B. Kahn & Fabian Lange & David G. Wiczer, 2020. "Searching, Recalls, and Tightness: An Interim Report on the COVID Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 28083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment duration; Labor market simulation; COVID recession;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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