IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/crd/wpaper/04002.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why Did the Average Duration of Unemployment Become So Much Longer?

Author

Listed:
  • Toshihiko Mukoyama

    () (Department of Economics, Concordia University)

  • Aysegul Sahin

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

Abstract

This paper examines the causes of the observed increase in the average unemployment duration over the past thirty years. First we analyze if changes in the demographic com- position of the U.S. labor force can explain this increase. In particular, we examine how much of the observed change can be explained by the change in age and gender compo- sition. We then consider institutional changes, such as the change in the generosity and coverage of unemployment insurance. Changes in the composition of the labor force and institutional changes can only partially account for the observed increase in the duration of unemployment. We construct a job search model and calibrate it to the U.S. data. The results indicate that more than 70% of the increase in the duration of unemployment over the last thirty years can be explained by an increase in within-group wage inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegul Sahin, 2004. "Why Did the Average Duration of Unemployment Become So Much Longer?," Working Papers 04002, Concordia University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:crd:wpaper:04002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://economics.concordia.ca/documents/working_papers/04002tm.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Sahin, Aysegl, 2009. "Why did the average duration of unemployment become so much longer?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 200-209, March.
    2. William J. Baumol & Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Speed of Technical Progress and Length of the Average Interjob Period," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_237, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. José Ferreira Machado & Pedro Portugal & Juliana Guimarães, 2006. "U.S. Unemployment Duration: Has Long Become Longer or Short Become Shorter?," Working Papers w200613, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    4. Thomas Lemieux, 2008. "The changing nature of wage inequality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(1), pages 21-48, January.
    5. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    6. Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "Trends in real wage growth," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Mar.
    7. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    8. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U. S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2095, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    9. Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S. & Ravn, M., 1997. "On Adjusting the H-P Filter for the Frequency of Observations," Discussion Paper 1997-50, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    10. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1987. "Estimating a Structural Search Model: The Transition from School to Work," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 801-817, July.
    11. Katherine Baicker & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1998. "A Distinctive System: Origins and Impact of U.S. Unemployment Compensation," NBER Chapters,in: The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century, pages 227-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin Murphy & Robert Topel, 2002. "Current Unemployment, Historically Contemplated," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(1), pages 79-136.
    13. Baker, Michael, 1992. "Unemployment Duration: Compositional Effects and Cyclical Variability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 313-321, March.
    14. Michael D. Bordo & Claudia Goldin & Eugene N. White, 1998. "The Defining Moment: The Great Depression and the American Economy in the Twentieth Century," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord98-1, April.
    15. Robert Shimer, 1999. "Why is the U.S. Unemployment Rate So Much Lower?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1998, volume 13, pages 11-74 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. J. J. McCall, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-126.
    17. Giovanni L. Violante, 2002. "Technological Acceleration, Skill Transferability, and the Rise in Residual Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 297-338.
    18. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
    19. 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.
    20. Robert G. Valletta, 1998. "Changes in the structure and duration of U.S. unemployment, 1967-1998," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 29-40.
    21. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    22. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-856, July.
    23. Gary Burtless, 1983. "Why Is Insured Unemployment So Low?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 225-254.
    24. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The Cyclical Behavior of Equilibrium Unemployment and Vacancies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 25-49, March.
    25. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1976. "Unemployment Insurance, Duration of Unemployment, and Subsequent Wage Gain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 754-766, December.
    26. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-438, April.
    27. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
    28. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
    29. Katharine G. Abraham & Robert Shimer, 2001. "Changes in Unemployment Duration and Labor Force Attachment," NBER Working Papers 8513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2008. "The vanishing procyclicality of labor productivity," Economics Working Papers 1230, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2010.
    2. Fujita, Shigeru, 2015. "Declining labor turnover and turbulence," Working Papers 15-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 02 Feb 2018.
    3. Fujita, Shigeru, 2011. "Declining labor turnover and turbulence," Working Papers 11-44, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    4. repec:kap:iaecre:v:20:y:2014:i:3:p:325-337 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Machado, José & Portugal, Pedro & Guimarães, Juliana, 2006. "U.S. Unemployment Duration: Has Long Become Longer or Short Become Shorter?," IZA Discussion Papers 2174, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Mukoyama, Toshihiko & Sahin, Aysegl, 2009. "Why did the average duration of unemployment become so much longer?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 200-209, March.
    7. Ortego-Marti, Victor, 2016. "Unemployment history and frictional wage dispersion," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 5-22.
    8. Céspedes, Nikita & Gutiérrez, Ana Paola & Belapatiño, Vanessa, 2013. "Determinantes de la duración del desempleo en una economía con alta informalidad," Working Papers 2013-022, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    9. repec:zbw:rwirep:0305 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Ronald Bachmann & Mathias Sinning, 2016. "Decomposing the Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(6), pages 853-876, December.
    11. Ronald Bachmann & Mathias Sinning, 2011. "Decomposing the Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," Ruhr Economic Papers 0305, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Daniel Borowczyk-Martins & Etienne Lalé, 2016. "The Rise of Part-time Employment," Sciences Po publications 2016-04, Sciences Po.
    13. Della Lee Sue, 2008. "Unemployment Index: A Multidimensional Measure of Labor Market Efficiency," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), pages 44-69.
    14. Mukoyama, Toshihiko, 2013. "Understanding the welfare effects of unemployment insurance policy in general equilibrium," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 347-368.
    15. Louis Pantuosco & Laura Ullrich, 2014. "Factors of Immobility: Why the Unemployment Rate is Slow to Adjust," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 20(3), pages 325-337, August.
    16. Schaeffer, Peter V. & Gebremedhin, Tesfa G., 2009. "Expected Time to Employment as a Function of Labor Market Size: A Theoretical Note," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 39(3), pages 287-295.
    17. Thomas B. King, 2005. "Labor productivity and job-market flows: trends, cycles, and correlations," Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers 2005-04, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    18. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder & Shani Schechter, 2010. "What is behind the rise in long-term unemployment?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 28-51.
    19. Belapatiño, Vanessa & Céspedes, Nikita & Gutierrez, Ana Paola, 2014. "La duración del desempleo en Lima Metropolitana," Revista Estudios Económicos, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, issue 27, pages 67-80.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment Duration; Demographic Change; Within-Group Wage In-equality; Job Search Model;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crd:wpaper:04002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Economics Department). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deconca.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.