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Reassessing the Shimer facts

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  • Shigeru Fujita
  • Garey Ramey

Abstract

In a recent influential paper, Shimer uses CPS duration and gross flow data to draw two conclusions: (1) separation rates are nearly acyclic; and (2) separation rates contribute little to the variability of unemployment. In this paper the authors assert that Shimer's analysis is problematic, for two reasons: (1) cyclicality is not evaluated systematically; and (2) the measured contributions to unemployment variability do not actually decompose total unemployment variability. The authors address these problems by applying a standard statistical measure of business cycle comovement, and constructing a precise decomposition of unemployment variability. Their results disconfirm Shimer's conclusions. More specifically, separation rates are highly countercyclical under various business cycle measures and filtering methods. The authors also find that fluctuations in separation rates make a substantial contribution to overall unemployment variability.

Suggested Citation

  • Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2007. "Reassessing the Shimer facts," Working Papers 07-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:07-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Reiter & Christian Haefke, 2006. "Endogenous Labor Market Participation and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 202, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Shigeru Fujita & Garey Ramey, 2006. "The cyclicality of job loss and hiring," Working Papers 06-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    3. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2009. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(1), pages 38-86, February.
    4. Gary Solon & Ryan Michaels & Michael W. L. Elsby, 2009. "The Ins and Outs of Cyclical Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 84-110, January.
    5. Ben-David Nissim, 2005. "The separation rate cannot be exogenous," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(15), pages 949-951.
    6. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1993. "Low frequency filtering and real business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 207-231.
    7. Julio J. Rotemberg, 2008. "Cyclical Wages in a Search-and-Bargaining Model with Large Firms," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006, pages 65-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years," NBER Working Papers 11678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Andrés Tamayo Castaño, 2012. "Asimetrías en la demanda por trabajo en Colombia: el papel del ciclo económico," Borradores de Economia 689, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Wesselbaum, Dennis, 2011. "Sector-specific productivity shocks in a matching model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2674-2682.
    3. Gregory De Walque & Olivier Pierrard & Henri Sneessens & Raf Wouters, 2009. "Sequential Bargaining in a Neo-Keynesian Model with Frictional Unemployment and Staggered Wage Negotiations," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 95-96, pages 223-250.
    4. Shigeru Fujita, 2011. "Dynamics of worker flows and vacancies: evidence from the sign restriction approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 89-121, January/F.
    5. Ch. Pissarides., 2011. "The Unemployment Volatility Puzzle: Is Wage Stickiness the Answer?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
    6. Andrew Sutton, 2013. "On the determinants of UK unemployment and the Great Recession: analysing the gross flows data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(25), pages 3599-3616, September.
    7. Cheremukhin, Anton A. & Restrepo-Echavarria, Paulina, 2014. "The labor wedge as a matching friction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 71-92.
    8. Giuseppe Tattara & Marco Valentini, 2010. "Turnover and Excess Worker Reallocation. The Veneto Labour Market between 1982 and 1996," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(4), pages 474-500, December.
    9. Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2008. "The Ins and Outs of European Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 256-262, May.
    10. Dennis Wesselbaum, 2014. "Firing tax vs severance payments – an unequal comparison," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(5), pages 721-736, September.
    11. Jonathan Thomas & Andy Snell, 2007. " Real and Nominal Wage Rigidity in a Model of Equal-Treatment Contracting," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0708, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    12. Holt Richard, 2008. "Job Reallocation, Unemployment and Hours in a New Keynesian Model," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-47, August.
    13. Gomes, Pedro, 2009. "Labour market flows: facts from the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 367, Bank of England.
    14. Michal Franta, 2008. "Time Aggregation Bias in Discrete Time Models of Aggregate Duration Data," Working Papers 2008/10, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    15. Shigeru Fujita & Christopher J. Nekarda & Garey Ramey, 2007. "The cyclicality of worker flows: new evidence from the SIPP," Working Papers 07-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    16. Jung, Philip, 2007. "Optimal Taxation and (Female)-Labor Force Participation over the Cycle," MPRA Paper 8744, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 13 May 2008.

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