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Testing for Hysteresis in Unemployment: An Unobserved Components Approach

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  • Jaeger, Albert
  • Parkinson, Martin

Abstract

We suggest a new test for hysteresis in unemployment based on an unobserved components model. Observed unemployment rates are decomposed into a natural rate component and a cyclical component. The impact of lagged cyclical shocks on the current natural component is the measure of hysteresis. To identify the two components of unemployment, we assume that the cyclical components is correlated with capacity utilization. The model is applied to U.S. and German data. We find no evidence of hysteresis in U.S. data. German unemployment rates exhibit substantial hysteresis. A shock of 1.0 percent to the current cyclical component permanently increases future German natural rates by about 0.5 percent. For both countries, natural rate shocks turn out to be an important impulse mechanism to explain movements in observed unemployment rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaeger, Albert & Parkinson, Martin, 1990. "Testing for Hysteresis in Unemployment: An Unobserved Components Approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 185-198.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:15:y:1990:i:2:p:185-98
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    Cited by:

    1. Bryant, Amy & Richards, Timothy J., 1998. "Hysteresis And The Shortage Of Agricultural Labor," 1998 Annual meeting, August 2-5, Salt Lake City, UT 20858, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Golpe, Antonio A. & Carmona, Monica & Congregado, Emilio, 2012. "Persistence in natural gas consumption in the US: An unobserved component model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 594-600.
    3. Pierre-Richard Agenor, 2002. "Business Cycles, Economic Crises, and the Poor," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 145-160.
    4. Philippe Moës, 2012. "Multivariate models with dual cycles: implications for output gap and potential growth measurement," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 791-818, June.
    5. Philippe Moës, 2008. "Multivariate structural time series models with dual cycles : implications for measurement of output gap and potential growth," Working Paper Research 136, National Bank of Belgium.

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