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Changes in the structure and duration of U.S. unemployment, 1967-1998

  • Robert G. Valletta

The unemployment rate is determined by the incidence and duration of unemployment spells. In this paper, I examine the time-series properties of unemployment incidence by reason and the duration of a typical unemployment spell. In line with earlier research, I find strong countercyclicality in unemployment. However, I also uncover an upward trend in duration that is entirely attributable to rising incidence and duration of permanent job loss. These changes in the structure and duration of unemployment have various policy implications.

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File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/econrsrch/econrev/98-3/29-40.pdf
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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (1998)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 29-40

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfer:y:1998:p:29-40:n:3
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  1. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Salant, Stephen W, 1977. "Search Theory and Duration Data: A Theory of Sorts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-57, February.
  3. Duca, John V., 1996. "Inflation, unemployment, and duration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 293-298, September.
  4. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1995. "Alternative Measures of the Average Duration of Unemployment," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995083e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  5. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
  6. George L. Perry, 1970. "Changing Labor Markets and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 411-448.
  7. George A. Akerlof & Brian G. M. Main, 1978. "Unemployment spells and unemployment experience," Special Studies Papers 123, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. William J. Baumol & Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Speed of Technical Progress and Length of the Average Interjob Period," Macroeconomics 9805022, EconWPA.
  9. Robert G. Valletta, 1998. "Declining job security," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
  11. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Unemployment Duration: Compositional Effects and Cyclical Variability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 313-21, March.
  12. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Diamond, Peter A, 1994. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 417-34, July.
  13. Durbin, J, 1970. "Testing for Serial Correlation in Least-Squares Regression When Some of the Regressors are Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(3), pages 410-21, May.
  14. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1987. "The Evolution of Unemployment in the United States: 1968 -- 1985," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 11-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Christopher J. Flinn & James J. Heckman, 1982. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," NBER Working Papers 0979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Michael Baker & Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1998. "The Labour Market Dynamics of Unemployment Rates in Canada and the United States," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(s1), pages 72-89, February.
  17. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance, Recall Expectations, And Unemployment Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 2594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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