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In search of the natural rate of unemployment

  • Thomas B. King
  • James Morley

The natural rate of unemployment can be measured as the time-varying steady state of a structural vector autoregression. For post-War U.S. data, the natural rate implied by this approach is more volatile than most previous estimates, with its movements accounting for the bulk of the variation in the unemployment rate, as well as substantial portions of the variation in aggregate output and inflation. These movements, in turn, can be related to variables associated with labor-market search theory, including unemployment benefits, labor productivity, real wages, and sectoral shifts in the labor market. There is also a strong negative relationship between inflation and the corresponding measure of cyclical unemployment, supporting the existence of a short-run Phillips Curve.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Supervisory Policy Analysis Working Papers with number 2005-05.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlsp:2005-05
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  17. Peter C.B. Phillips, 1985. "Understanding Spurious Regressions in Econometrics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 757, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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  25. Christopher Pissarides & Giovanna Vallanti, 2004. "Productivity growth and employment: theory and panel estimates," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2189, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  26. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian., 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  27. David H. Papell & Christian J. Murray & Hala Ghiblawi, 2000. "The Structure of Unemployment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 309-315, May.
  28. Salemi, Michael K, 1999. "Estimating the Natural Rate of Unemployment and Testing the Natural Rate Hypothesis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 1-25, Jan.-Feb..
  29. Beveridge, Stephen & Nelson, Charles R., 1981. "A new approach to decomposition of economic time series into permanent and transitory components with particular attention to measurement of the `business cycle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-174.
  30. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The cyclicality of hires, separations, and job-to-job transitions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 493-508.
  31. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1987. "Search, Wage Bargains and Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 473-83, July.
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