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Labour Force Participation and the Business Cycle: A Comparative Analysis of Europe, Japan and the United States

Author

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  • Julia Darby
  • Robert A Hart
  • Michaela Vecchi

Abstract

Using OECD data from 1970 until 1995, we estimate systems of labour force participation equations, disaggregated by age and sex, for the United States, Japan, France and Sweden. We simulate the path of participation rates following shocks to GDP and also test for asymmetric responses to shocks occurring in upward and downward phases of the cycle. Our methodology is especially pertinent to the issue of hidden unemployment and the "discouraged worker effect". We find that this effect is essentially a female phenomenon with a particular concentration among 45 to 54 year olds.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Darby & Robert A Hart & Michaela Vecchi, 1998. "Labour Force Participation and the Business Cycle: A Comparative Analysis of Europe, Japan and the United States," Working Papers 9802, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:9802
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hart, Robert A & Malley, Jim, 1996. "Excess Labour and the Business Cycle: A Comparative Study of Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, pages 325-342.
    2. 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.
    3. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
    4. 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.
    5. Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Hysteresis and the European Unemployment Problem," Working papers 427, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    6. Siv Gustafsson & Frank Stafford, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies and Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 204-230.
    7. Tachibanaki, Toshiaki & Sakurai, Kojiro, 1991. "Labour supply and unemployment in Japan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1575-1587, December.
    8. 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.
    9. Michela VECCHI, 1996. "Increasing Returns versus Externalities: Pro-Cyclical Productivity in US and Japan," Working Papers 83, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    10. Gordon, Robert J, 1982. "Why U.S. Wage and Employment Behaviour Differs from That in Britain and Japan," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 13-44, March.
    11. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
    12. Tetsuji Yamada & Tadashi Yamada & Guorn Liu, 1990. "Determinants of Saving and Labor Force Participation of the Elderly in Japan," NBER Working Papers 3292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sibel Cengiz & Afsin Sahin, 2014. "Modelling nonlinear behavior of labor force participation rate by STAR: An application for Turkey," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH), Kavala, Greece, vol. 7(1), pages 113-127, April.
    2. Carlo Altavilla & Matteo Ciccarelli, 2006. "Inflation Forecasts, Monetary Policy and Unemployment Dynamics: Evidence from the US and the Euro Area," Discussion Papers 7_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    3. Katarzyna Budnik & Michal Greszta & Michal Hulej & Marcin Kolasa & Karol Murawski & Michal Rot & Bartosz Rybaczyk & Magdalena Tarnicka, 2009. "The new macroeconometric model of the Polish economy," NBP Working Papers 62, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
    4. Ewa Gałecka-Burdziak & Marek Góra, 2016. "The impact of easy and early access to old-age benefits on exits from the labour market: a macro-micro analysis," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), pages 1-18.
    5. Carlo Altavilla & Matteo Ciccarelli, 2008. "Inflation models, optimal monetary policy and uncertain unemployment dynamics: Evidence from the US and the euro area," Discussion Papers 8_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    6. Gałecka-Burdziak, Ewa & Góra, Marek, 2015. "Impacts of the Availability of Old-Age Benefits on Exits from the Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 9014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Participation rates; business cycle; asymmetric responses; discouraged worker effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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