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Okun's Coefficient: A Comment


  • Clifford L. F. Attfield
  • Brian Silverstone


This paper reassesses a finding by Martin Prachowny (1993) that the value of the Okun coefficient for the United States (linking unemployment changes to output changes) is only around -0.67 rather than around the more typical value of -2.25. Using a cointegration framework, and the same data sets as Prachowny, we find, for one of the data sets, that the Okun coefficient is much closer to a value of -2.25, which supports previous research work. © 1997 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • Clifford L. F. Attfield & Brian Silverstone, 1997. "Okun's Coefficient: A Comment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 326-329, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:79:y:1997:i:2:p:326-329

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kwami Adanu, 2005. "A cross-province comparison of Okun's coefficient for Canada," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 561-570.
    2. Lee, Jim, 2000. "The Robustness of Okun's Law: Evidence from OECD Countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 331-356, April.
    3. José Brandão de Brito & Rita Duarte, 2005. "SEAM: A Small-Scale Euro Area Model With Forward-Looking Elements," Working Papers w200501, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    4. Gabriele R. & Fagiolo G. & Dosi G., 2004. "Towards an Evolutionary Interpretation of Aggregate Labor Market Regularities," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 84, Society for Computational Economics.
    5. Jochen Hartwig, 2014. "Testing Okun’s law with Swiss industry data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(29), pages 3581-3590, October.
    6. repec:spr:lsprsc:v:10:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s12076-017-0189-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Oscar Jorda & John Fernald & Fernanda Nechio & Mary Daly, 2013. "Okun’s Macroscope: Changes in the Cyclical Behavior of Productivity and the Comovement between Output and Unemployment," 2013 Meeting Papers 1155, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. repec:kap:iaecre:v:20:y:2014:i:4:p:439-453 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Huang, Ho-Chuan (River) & Lin, Shu-Chin, 2008. "Smooth-time-varying Okun's coefficients," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 363-375, March.
    10. Durech, Richard & Minea, Alexandru & Mustea, Lavinia & Slusna, Lubica, 2014. "Regional evidence on Okun's Law in Czech Republic and Slovakia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 57-65.
    11. Eduardo Loría & Emmanuel Salas, 2014. "A Nonlinear Relationship: Unemployment and Economic Growth (Construction Sector) in Spain, 1995.1–2012.2," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 20(4), pages 439-453, November.
    12. Edward S. Knotek & II, 2007. "How useful is Okun's law?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 73-103.
    13. repec:spr:jecfin:v:41:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s12197-015-9351-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Matteo Richiardi, 2006. "Toward a Non-Equilibrium Unemployment Theory," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 421-446, November.
    15. Casto Montero Kuscevic, 2014. "Okun’s law and urban spillovers in US unemployment," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(3), pages 719-730, November.
    16. Owyang, Michael T. & Sekhposyan, Tatevik, 2012. "Okun’s law over the business cycle: was the great recession all that different?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 399-418.
    17. Matteo Richiardi, 2006. "Toward a Non-Equilibrium Unemployment Theory," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 135-160, February.
    18. Celia Melguizo, 2017. "An analysis of Okun’s law for the Spanish provinces," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 37(1), pages 59-90, February.
    19. El Andari, Chifaa & Bouaziz, Rached, 2015. "Is the Okun's law valid in Tunisia?," MPRA Paper 67998, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Nov 2015.
    20. PERUGINI, Cristiano, 2009. "Employment Intensity Of Growth In Italy. A Note Using Regional Data," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(1).
    21. Attfield, Clifford L. F. & Silverstone, Brian, 1998. "Okun's Law, Cointegration and Gap Variables," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 625-637, July.
    22. Hogrefe, Jan & Sachs, Andreas, 2014. "Unemployment and labor reallocation in Europe," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-083, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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