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New evidence on cyclical and structural sources of unemployment

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  • Zinzhu Chen
  • Prakash Kannan
  • Prakash Loungani
  • Bharat Trehan

Abstract

We provide cross-country evidence on the relative importance of cyclical and structural factors in explaining unemployment, including the sharp rise in U.S. long-term unemployment during the Great Recession of 2007-09. About 75% of the forecast error variance of unemployment is accounted for by cyclical factors—real GDP changes (“Okun’s Law”), monetary and fiscal policies, and the uncertainty effects emphasized by Bloom (2009). Structural factors, which we measure using the dispersion of industry-level stock returns, account for the remaining 25 percent. For U.S. long-term unemployment the split between cyclical and structural factors is closer to 60-40, including during the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Zinzhu Chen & Prakash Kannan & Prakash Loungani & Bharat Trehan, 2011. "New evidence on cyclical and structural sources of unemployment," Working Paper Series 2011-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2011-17
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    Cited by:

    1. Elva Bova & Christina Kolerus & Sampawende Tapsoba, 2015. "A fiscal job? An analysis of fiscal policy and the labor market," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-17, December.
    2. repec:taf:irapec:v:31:y:2017:i:6:p:707-733 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Menzie D. Chinn & Laurent Ferrara & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "Post-recession US Employment through the Lens of a Non-linear Okun's law," NBER Working Papers 19047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Chinn, Menzie & Ferrara, Laurent & Mignon, Valérie, 2014. "Explaining US employment growth after the great recession: The role of output–employment non-linearities," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 118-129.
    5. Mileva, Mariya, 2013. "Optimal monetary policy in response to shifts in the beveridge curve," Kiel Working Papers 1823, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    6. Andrew Phiri, 2017. "The Unemployment-Stock Market Relationship in South Africa: Evidence from Symmetric and Asymmetric Cointegration Models," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 15(3 (Fall)), pages 231-254.
    7. Giovanni Gallipoli & Gianluigi Pelloni, 2013. "Macroeconomic Effects of Job Reallocations: A Survey," Review of Economic Analysis, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, vol. 5(2), pages 127-176, December.
    8. L. Ferrara. & G. Sestieri., 2014. "US labour market and monetary policy: current debates and challenges," Quarterly selection of articles - Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 36, pages 111-129, winter.
    9. Angelidis, Timotheos & Sakkas, Athanasios & Tessaromatis, Nikolaos, 2015. "Stock market dispersion, the business cycle and expected factor returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 265-279.
    10. Panagiotis E. Petrakis & Dionysis G. Valsamis & Pantelis C. Kostis, 2014. "Uncertainty Shocks in Eurozone Periphery Countries and Germany," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 8(2), pages 87-106, December.
    11. Kang, Wensheng & Lee, Kiseok & Ratti, Ronald A., 2014. "Economic policy uncertainty and firm-level investment," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 42-53.
    12. Valadkhani, Abbas & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Switching and asymmetric behaviour of the Okun coefficient in the US: Evidence for the 1948–2015 period," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 281-290.
    13. Choi, Sangyup & Loungani, Prakash, 2015. "Uncertainty and unemployment: The effects of aggregate and sectoral channels," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 344-358.
    14. Marianna Riggi, 2012. "Capital destruction, jobless recoveries, and the discipline device role of unemployment," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 871, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    15. repec:eee:ecmode:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:291-300 is not listed on IDEAS

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