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The Effect of Shocks to Labour Market Flows on Unemployment and Participation Rates

  • Robert Dixon
  • Guay C. Lim
  • Jan C. van Ours

This paper presents an analysis of labour market dynamics, in particular of flows in the labour market and how they interact and affect the evolution of unemployment rates and participation rates, the two main indicators of labour market performance. Our analysis has two special features. First, apart from the two labour market states - employment and unemployment - we consider a third state – out of the labour force. Second, we study net rather than gross flows, where net refers to the balance of flows between any two labour market states. Distinguishing a third state is important because the labour market flows to and from that state are quantitatively important. Focussing on net flows simplifies the complexity of interactions between the flows and allows us to perform a dynamic analysis in a structural vector-autoregression framework. We find that a shock to the net flow from unemployment to employment drive the unemployment rate and the participation rate in opposite directions while a shock to the net flow from not in the labour force to unemployment drives the rates in the same direction.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4826.

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Date of creation: 2014
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4826
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  2. Markus Brückner & Evi Pappa, 2012. "Fiscal Expansions, Unemployment, And Labor Force Participation: Theory And Evidence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1205-1228, November.
  3. Robert Dixon & G.C. Lim, 2002. "Australian gross flows data: the labour force survey and the size of the population represented by the matched sample," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 5(1), pages 1-21, March.
  4. Eran Yashiv, 2008. "U.S. Labor Market Dynamics Revisited," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(4), pages 779-806, 03.
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  7. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1990. "The Cyclical Behovior of the Gross Flows of U.S. Workers," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 85-156.
  8. Gary Solon & Ryan Michaels & Michael W. L. Elsby, 2009. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 84-110, January.
  9. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2009. "The Cyclicality Of Separation And Job Finding Rates," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 415-430, 05.
  10. Brian Krogh Graversen & Jan C. van Ours, 2011. "An Activation Program as a Stick to Job Finding," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(2), pages 167-181, 06.
  11. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
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  13. Jan Boone & Jan Ours, 2009. "Bringing Unemployed Back to Work: Effective Active Labor Market Policies," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 293-313, September.
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  15. Lundberg, Shelly, 1985. "The Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 11-37, January.
  16. Tommaso Monacelli & Roberto Perotti & Antonella Trigari, 2010. "Unemployment Fiscal Multipliers," NBER Working Papers 15931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Distance to Retirement and Older Workers' Employment: The Case for Delaying the Retirement Age," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1034-1076, 09.
  18. William Foster, 1981. "Gross Flows in the Australian Labour Market A First Look," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 14(4), pages 57-64.
  19. Dixon, R., 2001. "Australian Labour Force Data: How Representative is the 'Population Represented by the Matched Sample'?," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 772, The University of Melbourne.
  20. Abowd, John M & Zellner, Arnold, 1985. "Estimating Gross Labor-Force Flows," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 254-283, June.
  21. Tito Boeri & Jan van Ours, 2013. "The Economics of Imperfect Labor Markets: Second Edition," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10142.
  22. Jeff Borland, 1996. "Labour Market Flows Data for Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 29(2), pages 225-235.
  23. Jean-Olivier Hairault & François Langot & Thepthida Sopraseuth, 2010. "Distance to Retirement and The Job Search of Older Workers: The Case For Delaying Retirement Age," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00517107, HAL.
  24. Melvin Stephens, 2002. "Worker Displacement and the Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 504-537, July.
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