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The British Beveridge curve: a tale of ten regions

  • Howard J. Wall
  • Gylfi Zoega

Recent work has suggested the possibility that the Beveridge curve can shift over the business cycle. This is in contrast with a large body of literature claiming that Beveridge curves have shifted due to structural changes alone. To test these claims, we use county-level data to estimate the timing and magnitude of shifts in aggregate and regional British Beveridge curves. We find that these shifts coincide with the business cycle rather than with hysteresis effects or with changes in regional mismatch. This implies that the Beveridge curve is a flawed device for separating the effects of structural changes from those of the business cycle.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2001-007.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Publication status: Published in Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, July 2002, 64(3), pp. 257-76
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2001-007
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  1. Richard Jackman & Christopher A. Pissarides & S Savouri, 1990. "Labour Market Policies and Unemployment in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0011, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Richard Jackman & Richard Layard & S Savouri, 1990. "Mismatch: A Framework for Thought," CEP Discussion Papers dp0001, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Budd, Alan & Levine, Paul & Smith, Peter, 1988. "Unemployment, Vacancies and the Long-term Unemployed," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1071-91, December.
  4. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
  5. Layard, Richard & Bean, Charles, 1989. " Why Does Unemployment Persist?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 371-96.
  6. Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000. "Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function," CEPR Discussion Papers 2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Simon Baker & Seamus Hogan & Christopher Ragan, 1996. "Is There Compelling Evidence against Increasing Returns to Matching in the Labour Market?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 976-93, November.
  8. Borsch-Supan, Axel H, 1991. "Panel Data Analysis of the Beveridge Curve: Is There a Macroeconomic Relation between the Rate of Unemployment and the Vacancy Rate?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(231), pages 279-97, August.
  9. Jackman, R & Roper, S, 1987. "Structural Unemployment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(1), pages 9-36, February.
  10. Arthur M. Okun, 1973. "Upward Mobility in a High-Pressure Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 207-262.
  11. Katharine G. Abraham, 1987. "Help-Wanted Advertising, Job Vacancies, and Unemployment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(1), pages 207-248.
  12. Coles, Melvyn G & Smith, Eric, 1998. "Marketplaces and Matching," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 239-54, February.
  13. Gregg, P & Petrongolo, B, 1997. "Random or Non-Random Matching? Implications for the Use of the UV Curve as a Measure of Matching Performance," Papers 13, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
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