IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedlwp/2015-029.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A State-Level Analysis of Okun's Law

Author

Listed:
  • Guisinger, Amy Y.

    (George Washington University)

  • Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

  • Owyang, Michael T.

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

  • Sinclair, Tara M.

    (George Washington University)

Abstract

Okun's law is an empirical relationship that measures the correlation between the deviation of the unemployment rate from its natural rate and the deviation of output growth from its potential. This relationship is often referred to by policy makers and used by forecasters. In this paper, we estimate Okun's coefficients separately for each U.S. state using an unobserved components framework and find variation of the coefficients across states. We exploit this heterogeneity of Okun's coefficients to directly examine the potential factors that shape Okun's law, and find that indicators of more flexible labor markets (higher levels of education achievement in the population, lower rate of unionization, and a higher share of non-manufacturing employment) are important determinants of the differences in Okun's coefficient across states.

Suggested Citation

  • Guisinger, Amy Y. & Hernandez-Murillo, Ruben & Owyang, Michael T. & Sinclair, Tara M., 2015. "A State-Level Analysis of Okun's Law," Working Papers 2015-29, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 17 Oct 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2015-029
    DOI: 10.20955/wp.2015.029
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2015/2015-029.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicholas Apergis & Anthony Rezitis, 2003. "An examination of Okun's law: evidence from regional areas in Greece," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(10), pages 1147-1151.
    2. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-673, September.
    3. Sandrine Cazes & Sher Verick & Fares Al Hussami, 2013. "Why did unemployment respond so differently to the global financial crisis across countries? Insights from Okun’s Law," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-18, December.
    4. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "The Changing Cyclical Variability of Economic Activity in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change, pages 679-734 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2002. "The Unreliability of Output-Gap Estimates in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 569-583, November.
    6. repec:kap:iaecre:v:6:y:2000:i:3:p:557-570 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Durech, Richard & Minea, Alexandru & Mustea, Lavinia & Slusna, Lubica, 2014. "Regional evidence on Okun's Law in Czech Republic and Slovakia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 57-65.
    8. Mocan, H Naci & Topyan, Kudret, 1993. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from a Structural Time Series Model," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(4), pages 363-389, November.
    9. Owyang, Michael T. & Rapach, David E. & Wall, Howard J., 2009. "States and the business cycle," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 181-194, March.
    10. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1992. "Information-Aggregation Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 508-519, June.
    11. Reinhold Kosfeld & Christian Dreger, 2006. "Thresholds for employment and unemployment: A spatial analysis of German regional labour markets, 1992-2000," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(4), pages 523-542, November.
    12. Kwami Adanu, 2005. "A cross-province comparison of Okun's coefficient for Canada," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 561-570.
    13. Robert Arnold, 2008. "Reestimating the Phillips Curve and the NAIRU: Working Paper 2008-06," Working Papers 20009, Congressional Budget Office.
    14. Blackley, Paul R., 1991. "The measurement and determination of Okun's Law: Evidence from state economies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 641-656.
    15. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Chapters,in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 199-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Baldwin, Richard E. & Martin, Philippe, 2004. "Agglomeration and regional growth," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 60, pages 2671-2711 Elsevier.
    17. Edward P. Lazear & James R. Spletzer, 2012. "The United States labor market: status quo or a new normal?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 405-451.
    18. Donald Freeman, 2000. "Regional tests of Okun's law," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 6(3), pages 557-570, August.
    19. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
    20. Kaufman, Roger T., 1988. "An international comparison of Okun's laws," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 182-203, June.
    21. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
    22. Prachowny, Martin F J, 1993. "Okun's Law: Theoretical Foundations and Revised Estimates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 331-336, May.
    23. Congressional Budget Office, 2015. "Why CBO Projects That Actual Output Will Be Below Potential Output on Average," Reports 49890, Congressional Budget Office.
    24. John G. Fernald, 2015. "Productivity and Potential Output before, during, and after the Great Recession," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-51.
    25. Aki Kangasharju & Christophe Tavera & Peter Nijkamp, 2012. "Regional Growth and Unemployment: The Validity of Okun's Law for the Finnish Regions," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 381-395, September.
    26. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    27. Saxonhouse, Gary R, 1976. "Estimated Parameters as Dependent Variables," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(1), pages 178-183, March.
    28. Tara M. Sinclair, 2009. "The Relationships between Permanent and Transitory Movements in U.S. Output and the Unemployment Rate," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2-3), pages 529-542, March.
    29. Harvey, A C & Jaeger, A, 1993. "Detrending, Stylized Facts and the Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 231-247, July-Sept.
    30. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 15-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. Chatterjee, Satyajit & Carlino, Gerald A., 2001. "Aggregate metropolitan employment growth and the deconcentration of metropolitan employment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 549-583, December.
    32. Moosa, Imad A., 1997. "A Cross-Country Comparison of Okun's Coefficient," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 335-356, June.
    33. David E. Altig & Terry J. Fitzgerald & Peter Rupert, 1997. "Okun's law revisited: should we worry about low unemployment?," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue May.
    34. Lee, Jim, 2000. "The Robustness of Okun's Law: Evidence from OECD Countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 331-356, April.
    35. Lewis, Jeffrey B. & Linzer, Drew A., 2005. "Estimating Regression Models in Which the Dependent Variable Is Based on Estimates," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(04), pages 345-364, September.
    36. Paldam, Martin, 1987. "How much does one percent of growth change the unemployment rate? : A study of 17 OECD countries, 1948-1985," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 306-313.
    37. Darby, Michael R & Haltiwanger, John C & Plant, Mark W, 1985. "Unemployment Rate Dynamics and Persistent Unemployment under Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 614-637, September.
    38. Marie-Estelle Binet & François Facchini, 2013. "Okun's Law in the French Regions: A Cross-Regional Comparison," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00812549, HAL.
    39. Michael T. Owyang & Jeremy Piger & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Business Cycle Phases in U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 604-616, November.
    40. Lynch, Lisa M, 1983. "Job Search and Youth Unemployment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(0), pages 271-282, Supplemen.
    41. Desmet, Klaus & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2006. "Employment concentration across U.S. counties," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 482-509, July.
    42. Binet Marie-estelle & Francois Facchini, 2013. "Okun's law in the french regions: a cross-regional comparison," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 420-433.
    43. Roger Perman & Christophe Tavera, 2007. "Testing for convergence of the Okun’s Law coefficient in Europe," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 45-61, March.
    44. Congressional Budget Office, 2015. "Why CBO Projects That Actual Output Will Be Below Potential Output on Average," Reports 49890, Congressional Budget Office.
    45. Daly, Mary C. & Fernald, John G. & Jorda, Oscar & Nechio, Fernanda, 2014. "Interpreting deviations from Okun’s Law," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    46. Charles Adams & David T. Coe, 1990. "A Systems Approach to Estimating the Natural Rate of Unemployment and Potential Output for the United States," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 232-293, June.
    47. Owyang, Michael T. & Sekhposyan, Tatevik, 2012. "Okun’s law over the business cycle: was the great recession all that different?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 399-418.
    48. 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.
    49. Charles Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2000. "Why are Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Component Decompositions of GDP so Different?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0692, Econometric Society.
    50. Freeman, Donald G, 2001. "Panel Tests of Okun's Law for Ten Industrial Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 511-523, October.
    51. Lynch, Lisa M, 1989. "The Youth Labor Market in the Eighties: Determinants of Re-employment Probabilities for Young Men and Women," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 37-45, February.
    52. Plosser, Charles I. & Schwert, G. William, 1979. "Potential GNP: Its measurement and significance : A dissenting opinion," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 179-186, January.
    53. Harvey, A C, 1985. "Trends and Cycles in Macroeconomic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(3), pages 216-227, June.
    54. Peter K. Clark, 1987. "The Cyclical Component of U. S. Economic Activity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 797-814.
    55. Hornstein, Abigail S. & Greene, William H., 2012. "Usage of an estimated coefficient as a dependent variable," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 316-318.
    56. Andrew J. Filardo, 1997. "Cyclical implications of the declining manufacturing employment share," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 63-87.
    57. Zanin, Luca, 2014. "On Okun’s law in OECD countries: An analysis by age cohorts," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 243-248.
    58. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    59. George L. Perry, 1970. "Changing Labor Markets and Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(3), pages 411-448.
    60. Villaverde, José & Maza, Adolfo, 2009. "The robustness of Okun's law in Spain, 1980-2004: Regional evidence," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 289-297.
    61. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00812549 is not listed on IDEAS
    62. O. Hutengs & G. Stadtmann, 2013. "Age effects in Okun's law within the Eurozone," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(9), pages 821-825, June.
    63. James C. Morley & Charles R. Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2003. "Why Are the Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Components Decompositions of GDP So Different?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 235-243, May.
    64. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Computation and analysis of multiple structural change models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 1-22.
    65. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
    66. repec:cbo:report:49890 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Bande, Roberto & Martín-Román, Ángel L., 2017. "Regional differences in the Okun’s Relationship: New Evidence for Spain (1980-2015)," MPRA Paper 79833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:eee:ecmode:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:291-300 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Correlated unobserved components; potential output; natural rate of unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    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:fip:fedlwp:2015-029. 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: (Kathy Cosgrove). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbslus.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.