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Computerization and Rising Unemployment Duration

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  • Edward N. Wolff

    () (New York University)

Abstract

With a given unemployment rate, duration of joblessness can vary substantially. The unemployment rate will be the same if four million workers are unemployed for three months on average, as when one million workers loose their jobs for a full year. Yet the consequences for the mental state of the people without jobs, for their behavior, and for the functioning of society are probably far more severe when the average period between jobs is much longer. The authors turn next to their main empirical study, the multivariate regression analysis, to sort out the effects of technological, institutional, and demographic variables on changes in unemployment duration. The analysis is based on aggregate time-series data for the US, covering the period from 1948 to 1997. The duration of unemployment has risen rather dramatically over the last half century. The percentage of unemployed workers out of work 15 or more weeks more than doubled over the same period, while the percentage of the unemployed out of work 27 or more weeks tripled.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward N. Wolff, 2005. "Computerization and Rising Unemployment Duration," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 507-536, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:31:y:2005:i:4:p:507-536
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume31/V31N4P507_536.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Race against the machine
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    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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